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Alexander, Hartley B. Plato's Conception of the Cosmos 1 

Atomism, The Philosophy of Logical. By Bertrand Russell 495 

Bateman, H. The Genesis of an Electro-Magnetic Field 586 

Berkeley's Logic of Mathematics. By G. A. Johnston 25 

Biologist's Religion, A. By Walter Sonneberg 567 

Body and Mind. By C. D. Broad 234 

Broad, C. D. Body and Mind 234 

Carus, Paul. In Reply to Dualistic Conceptions of Mind, 259. Suggestions 

for a New Logic. Dr. Mercier's Logical Work, 302. 

Child, J. M. Critical Notes on K. I. Gerhardt's "Leibniz and Pascal" ... 550 

Christian Theophagy: An Historical Sketch. By Preserved Smith 161 

Conceptions of the History of Philosophy, The. By Victor Delbos 394 

Construction of Magic Squares and Cubes with Prime Numbers, General 

Notes on the. By Harry A. Sayles 141 

Cosmos, Plato's Conception of the. By Hartley B. Alexander 1 

Delbos, Victor. The Conceptions of the History of Philosophy 394 

Drake, Durant. An Empirical View of the Trinity 135 

Dualism, Monism and. By Ernst Jonson 624 

Dualistic Conceptions of Mind, In Reply to. By Paul Carus 259 

Edmunds, Albert J. The Washington Manuscript and the Resurrection in 

Mark 528 

Electro-Magnetic Field, The Genesis of an. By H. Bateman 586 

Empirical View of the Trinity, An. By Durant Drake 135 

Galileo and Newton. By Philip E. B. Jourdain 629 

Genesis of an Electro-Magnetic Field, The. By H. Bateman 586 

Gerhardt, Karl Immanuel. Leibniz and Pascal 530 

Heaton, Charles. A Philosophical Litterateur 608 

Hirshberg, L. K. Things Are not Always what they Seem 456 

Hyde, Walter Woodburn. The Two-Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth 

of Winckelmann 76 

Hyslop, James. H. Predicaments in Philosophy 352 

Imagination, Servant or Master (Poem). By C. L. Marsh 68 

Infinity as Method. By Henry Lanz 46 



Johnston, G. A. Berkeley's Logic of Mathematics 25 

Jonson, Ernst. Monism and Dualism 624 

Jourdain, Philip E. B. Galileo and Newton 629 

Lane, Charles Alva. Wheeler's Hundredth-Century Philosophy 481 

Lanz, Henry. Infinity as Method 46 

Lawrence, Edward. Prayer. Its Origin, Meaning, and Ethical Significance . 410 

Leibniz and Pascal. By Karl Immanuel Gerhardt 530 

Lindsay, James. Rationalism and Voluntarism 433 

Logic in Numbers. By Chas. P. R. Macaulay 472 

Logic of Mathematics, Berkeley's. By G. A. Johnston 25 

Logic, On the Construction of a Non-Aristotelian. By Henry Bradford 

Smith 465 

Logic, Recent Work in Mathematical. By Dorothy Maud Wrinch 620 

Logic, Suggestions for a New. Dr. Mercier's Logical Work. By Paul 

Carus 302 

Logical Atomism, The Philosophy of. By Bertrand Russell 495 

Lucretius Returns. A Philosophical Poem. By George Seibel 282 

Macaulay, Chas. P. R. Logic in Numbers 472 

Magic Squares and Cubes with Prime Numbers, General Notes on the 

Construction of. By Harry A. Sayles 141 

Marsh, C. L. Imagination", Servant or Master (Poem) 68 

Marsh, C. L. The Super-Soul (Poem) 73 

Mathematical Logic, Recent Work in. By Dorothy Maud Wrinch 620 

Mathematics, Berkeley's Logic of. By G. A. Johnston 25 

Mercier's Logical Work, Dr. Suggestions for a New Logic. By Paul Carus 302 

Mills, Lawrence Heyworth. Obituary 314 

Mind, Body and. By C D. Broad 234 

Mind, In Reply to Dualistic Conceptions of. By Paul Carus 259 

Mind, the Creator of Matter. By L. L. Pimenoff 209 

Minkowski, Hermann. Time and Space 288 

Monism and Dualism. By Ernst Jonson 624 

Mors Mortis. By William Benjamin Smith 321 

Muscio, Bernard. The Mechanical Explanation of Religion 123 

Newton, Galileo and. By Philip E. B. Jourdain 629 

Pascal, Leibniz and. By Karl Immanuel Gerhardt 530 

Philosophical Litterateur, A. By Charles Heaton 608 

Philosophy? Is There an Intellectual Content in. By James G. Townsend. 597 

Philosophy, Predicaments in. By James H. Hyslop 352 

Philosophy, The Conceptions of the History of. By Victor Delbos 394 

Philosophy of Logical Atomism, The. By Bertrand Russell 495 

Pimenoff, L. L. Mind, the Creator of Matter 209 

Plato's Conception of the Cosmos. By Hartley B. Alexander 1 

Pragmatic Issue, A Psychological View of the. By Theodore Schroeder . 273 
Prayer. Its Origin, Meaning, and Ethical Significance . By Edward Law- 
rence 410 

Predicaments in Philosophy. By James H. Hyslop 352 

Probability, On the Conception of. By H. M. Westergaard 613 

Psychological View of the Pragmatic Issue, A. By Theodore Schroeder . 273 
Rationalism and Voluntarism. By James .Lindsay 433 


Religion, A Biologist's. By Walter Sonneberg 567 

Religion, The Mechanical Explanation of. By Bernard Muscio 123 

Resurrection in Mark, The Washington Manuscript and the. By Albert 

J. Edmunds 528 

Rignano, Eugenic. The School of To-Morrow 379 

Russell, Bertrand. The Philosophy of Logical Atomism 495 

Sayles, Harry A. General Notes on the Construction of Magic Squares 

and Cubes with Prime Numbers 141 

School of To-Morrow, The. By Eugenic Rignano 379 

Schroeder, Theodore. A Psychological View of the Pragmatic Issue 273 

Seibel, George. Lucretius Returns. A Philosophical Poem 282 

Smith, Henry Bradford. On the Construction of a Non-Aristotelian Logic. 465 

Smith, Preserved. Christian Theophagy : An Historical Sketch 161 

Smith, William Benjamin. Mors Mortis 321 

Sonneberg, Walter. A Biologist's Religion 567 

Suggestions for a New Logic. Dr. Mercier's Logical Work. By Paul 

Carus 302 

Super-Soul, The ( Poem) . By C. L. Marsh 73 

Theophagy, Christian : An Historical Sketch. By Preserved Smith 161 

Things Are not Always what they Seem. By L. K. Hirshberg 456 

Time and Space. By Hermann Minkowski 288 

Townsend, James G. Is There an Intellectual Content in Philosophy?... 597 

Trinity, An Empirical View of the. By Durant Drake 135 

Voluntarism, Rationalism and. By James Lindsay 433 

Washington Manuscript and the Resurrection in Mark, The. By Albert 

J. Edmunds 528 

Wells, Wesley Raymond. The Fallacy in H. G. Wells's "New Religion". . 604 

Wells's "New Religion," The Fallacy in H. G. By Wesley Raymond Wells 604 

Westergaard, H. M. On the Conception of Probability 613 

Wheeler's Hundredth-Century Philosophy. By Charles Alva Lane 481 

Winckelmann, The Two-Hundredth Anniversary of the Birth of. By Wal- 
ter Woodburn Hyde 76 

Wrinch, Dorothy Maud. Recent Work in Mathematical Logic 620 



Durkheim, Emile. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life 158 

Elliot, Hugh. Herbert Spencer 638 

Harris, Rendel. The Ascent of Olympus 640 

Jaini, Jagmanderlal. Outlines of Jainism 320 

Lindsay, James. A Philosophical System of Theistic Idealism 639 

McQueen, E. Neil. The Distribution of Attention 636 

Merz, John Theodore. Religion and Science 319 

Science Progress 479, 633 

Scientia 4gQ 

Wundt, Wilhelm. Elements of Folk- Psychology . . 159 





44 T)YTHAGORAS was the first," says Plutarch, "who 
JT named the compass of the whole a Cosmos, because 
of the order which is in it." 

The notion that all things knowable and all things ex- 
istent form one orderly and comprehensive system, in which 
every event is linked with every other by causal necessity 
while all the elements with mechanical nicety mutually en- 
mesh, is to us of to-day an intellectual commonplace. We 
make no difficulty in thinking an Everything which is made 
up of all things, an Entirety or a Totality which is just the 
commingled sum of the numberless particularities which 
our lives are always itemizing; and we call this Totality, 
this All, this Thing of things, the Universe or the World. 
It rarely occurs to us to question either the unity or the 
reality of this omnium-gatherum, which, even if it occupies 
a somewhat concealed position in our thoughts, is yet a 
well-nigh indispensable convenience; it stands an ever- 
ready and capacious receptacle for all the perplexities and 
inconsistencies which the apparent nature of things is con- 
stantly presenting, but which, we feel, are in some benign 
way healed by the alchemical mystery of an all-inclusive 

Ideas are habits ; and when an idea gets so fixed that 
the habit has become automatic, it is usually good medicine 


to revive, now and again the habit-forming period, that we 
may judge with refreshed intelligence the safety and truth 
of our continued course. This is our purpose in turning to 
certain Greek conceptions of the world as a cosmos. 

For we must remember that the notion, so familiar to 
us, of what they variously called to Jiav, the All, or TO 
oAov, the Whole, or again 6 oijQavog, the Heaven, or 6 xoapiog, 
the Order of Things, was to the Greeks a new invention. 
The idea that all things are somehow one is by no means 
self-evident, and when it was suggested the wary Hellenic 
mind approached it with canny suspicion and cautious cir- 
cumlocution. Is the World limited or unlimited? Is it 
truly One or is it Many? Does the Whole, or Totality, ex- 
haust the All? Or indeed may not the All indefinitely 
transcend the Realm of Order, the Cosmos? These were 
questions which were raised and discussed questions with 
a dangerous smack of impiety by the men who were 
interested in what Xenophon characterizes as "that which 
is called -by sophists 'the world/ ' 

Doubtless it was Pythagoras, as Plutarch states, or 
some Pythagorean, who first daringly pronounced the 
Whole to be a Cosmos, the realm of reality and the realm 
of order to be coextensive. For the Pythagoreans were 
the earliest of men to be entirely enamored of that first 
principle and foundation of law and order, the idea of 
number. They devoted themselves to mathematics and 
music and astronomy, and in the numerical analogies which 
they discovered in the properties of sound and in the move- 
ments of the heavenly bodies there burst upon their minds, 
with what must have seemed a very blaze of creative in- 
telligence, the great conception of number in nature, which 
has since been the foundation of all our science. They 
conceived all nature to be organized according to mathe- 
matical proportions, and because they found these propor- 
tions to be most emblematically realized in musical strings 


and pipes they named the principle of it a harmony, and 
again because they seemed to see it regnantly imaged in 
the motions of the heavenly spheres they regarded these 
too as a harmony and a music. It was indeed primarily 
to the heavens that the name Cosmos was given, and it 
was only later, when the seasons of Earth were observed 
to follow the periods of the Sun while the figures of the 
stars were regarded as prognostics of human events, that 
the conception of order was extended from celestial to 
terrestrial phenomena. 

The background of Hellenic thought, like the natural 
thought of mankind everywhere, was pluralistic. To the 
normal Greek, even in the days of Plato and Aristotle, the 
obvious facts of life indicated not a consistent and close- 
locked universal scheme, but a melee of whim and purpose, 
blind chance and blinder fancy, while the most reasonless 
of all the powers he recognized was that to which he gave 
the name Necessity. To him it seemed evident that the 
affairs of men and nature are innumerable and unorgan- 
ized, and while certain of the more stable aspects of ex- 
istence were regarded as the charge of the Olympian gods, 
not even such mercurial control as emanated from the 
hoydenish family of Zeus divine obtained in the generality 
of experience: the vast majority of events were not to be 
explained at all; they were simply the manifestation of 
the hostility, indifference, idiosyncracy and anarchy which 
appear in the elemental facts of life. 

This, I say, was the view of the normal Greek even 
in his classical hey-dey, as it is the view of the naive and 
natural man everywhere. But the foundations of our own 
sophisticated philosophy had been set long before, in two 
first conditions which, as I see it, go far to account for the 
whole edifice of reason. 

One of these is a psychological condition. It is what 
is known in Kantian philosophy as the "unity of apper- 


caption" and in scientific method as the "law of parcimony," 
or economy of thought. Essentially it is just our native 
simple-mindedness, expressed in the maxim, "Attend to 
one thing at a time." Intellectually we are unable to cope 
with complex facts; we have to simplify them, analyze 
them, in order to see them. Hence we regard simplicity 
as the supreme virtue, not ' only in reason but also in 
nature; and hence also our invincible conviction that rea- 
son's simplifications are more genuine than nature's em- 
pirical complexities. In spite of its multitudinous and 
multiplying variety the very limitations of our intellectual 
powers compel us to see Nature as one, as a unity, and 
thus out of chaos is created an orderly world. 

Such is the inner condition, but it is mightily helped 
outwardly by the natural allegory of Sky and Earth, Day 
and Night, Summer and Winter. These antithetical seem 
to form a great division of Nature into the Intelligible and 
the Unintelligible : Sky and Day and Summer not only sym- 
bolize but embody motion and light and life, which are in 
turn the image and essence of reason; while Earth and 
Night and Winter no less surely body forth the inert and 
void and deathly realm of anti-reason. Thus we have a 
realm of order, Cosmos, set over against a realm of dis- 
order, a Chaos; and because the orderly Sky images the 
rulership of reason, and because Day is the revealer and 
Summer the life-giver, these powers are regarded as 
friendly to man and in the great contention of Nature as 
encroaching upon and subduing the dark forces of Chaos. 

Such a sense of duality is omnipresent in human 
thought. Its metaphors are the very breath of life of 
poetry, and even in philosophies which deny its reality the 
problems to which it gives rise problems of the formal 
and material, spiritual and physical, good and evil, are 
the crucial perplexities. Greek thought is no exception to 
the rule. Already in the epic theogonies Uranus and Gaea, 


Sky and Earth, appear as ancestral and gigantic forms of 
creation emerging from primeval chaos. . . . 

"First Chaos was, and then broad-bosomed Earth. .. . 
And Earth bare starry Heaven, thence to be 
The habitation of the blessed gods." 

This is the Hesiodic genesis, and the Orphic differs from 
it only in making Heaven and Earth a coequal and wedded 
pair, from whose union multitudinous nature was begotten. 
Euripides preserves it in the utterance of the seeress Mela- 
nippe : 

"It is not my word, but my mother's word, 
How Heaven and Earth were once one form ; but stirred, 
And strove, and dwelt asunder far away: 
And then, re-wedding, bore unto the day 
And light of life all things that are, the trees, 
Flowers, birds and beasts and them that breathe the seas, 
And mortal man, each in his kind and law." 1 

This dualism of the epic age passed over into the philo- 
sophic tradition with little more than a change of names. 
In place of Heaven and Earth, the antithesis is set between 
Chaos and Nous, Anarchy and Intelligence, or between 
Chaos and Cosmos, Void and Order, though we must 
remember that the word oiJQavog persisted as a synonym 
of xoajiog even with Plato and Aristotle, and that xoapiog 
itself was at first used of the heavenly firmament, and only 
with advancing insight into the orderliness of the world 
beneath the spheres was it made to include terrene nature. 

The lesson of intelligence was in fact learned first of 
all from observation of the heavens. No phenomena so 
vividly impress the natural mind with a sense of their divin- 
ity as do the regular and brilliant courses of the heavenly 
bodies. Repetition is the gateway and light is the outer 
image of learning, and in the sun and moon and stars we 
have our permanent exemplars of repetition and light. 

"All mankind thou guidest as a single being; 
Expectantly, with raised head, they look up to thee !" 

1 Gilbert Murray's translation. 


says a Babylonian hymn to the sun, for which the nine- 
teenth psalm 

"The Heavens declare the glory of God, 
And the firmament sheweth his handywork" 

is only a later parallel. Plato, in describing the works of 
the Demiurge, tells how "of the heavenly and divine, he 
created the greater part out of fire, that they might be the 
brightest of all things and fairest to behold, and he fash- 
ioned them after the likeness of the universe in the figure 
of a circle, and made them follow the intelligent motion 
of the supreme, distributing them over the whole circum- 
ference of heaven, which was to be a true cosmos or glori- 
ous world spangled with them all over." 2 And in another 
passage Plato derives from the image of the heavens, as 
does the psalmist, his conviction of the goodness of God: 
for if, he says, "we say that the whole path and movement 
of heaven, and of all that is therein, is by nature akin to 
the movement and revolution and calculation of mind, and 
proceeds by kindred laws, then, as is plain, we must say 
that the best soul takes care of the world and guides it 
along the good path." Perhaps the sublimest expression 
of this thought in Greek literature is Aristotle's character- 
ization of Xenophanes : "He cast his eyes upon the expanse 
of Heaven, and saw that it was one, and that one God." 

Thus the heavens were at once the embodiment of rea- 
son and divinity, the symbol of divine rulership and the 
exemplar of divine perfection. But it was the reverse of 
obvious that either the mathematical regularity of the heav- 
enly reason or the perfection of heavenly form extend to 
the world beneath the moon. What seems to have been 
really the first suggestion that such is the case was the 
Pythagorean discovery that musical intervals vary with 
the length of the sound-producing strings according to 
certain simple and regular numerical ratios. This discov- 

2 This and other citations from Plato are in Jowett's translation. 


ery burst upon men's minds as a sudden revelation of order 
where order had hitherto never been suspected, and in their 
first delirious application of it the Pythagoreans seemed 
to see number everywhere, in the world of change below 
as in the world of constancy above, in the conduct of men 
as in the conduct of gods and stars, and so they proclaimed 
the Whole to be a One, whose emanating numbers gave 
coherence and system to all things, and they named this 
systemic All a Cosmos. 

There remained one further step. Xenophanes had seen 
God in the heavens; Pythagoras had lifted Earth up into 
the Cosmos; but neither had as yet perceived that the 
world of sense and of physical numbers is only a symbol 
and an image of the true realm of law, that the cosmic 
citadel must be sought inwardly in thought and not out- 
wardly in fact. This had been darkly intimated by the 
dark Heraclitus. "Better is the hidden harmony than 
the manifest," he had said; and again, "In one thing is 
wisdom, to know the reason by which all through all is 
guided." But it was Socrates who first clearly and ex- 
plicitly emphasized the inner nature of the cosmic principle. 
"Socrates was the first," says Cicero, "to call philosophy 
down from the sky, and to settle it in the city and even 
introduce it within the house, and compel it to inquire con- 
cerning life and death and things good and ill." Probably, 
in saying this, Cicero, like Xenophon, merely saw Socrates 
turning from astronomy as from a vain speculation. The 
truth of Socrates' mission is perhaps better indicated by 
Aristotle's statement that it was Socrates who invented 
definition. We know what he strove to define courage 
and temperance and justice and wisdom, the principles of 
conduct and the laws of an orderly life. Socrates was 
seeking cosmos, reason, not in the physical image, but in 
the spiritual reality. That Socrates was genuinely inter- 
ested in physical science there is every reason to believe, 


but his final attitude is best expressed in the words which 
Plato puts into his mouth, "Those who elevate astronomy 
into philosophy appear to me to make us look downward 
and not upward." 

The predecessors of Plato had modelled two great con- 
ceptions. The physical and mathematical thinkers had 
evolved the grandiose notion of a Cosmos, an Order, writ- 
ten upon the face of Chaos. Heraclitus and, far more 
distinctly, Socrates had proclaimed this order of nature 
to be only the outward image and reflection of the inner 
order of reason. Pythagoras and Heraclitus and Socra- 
tes, more than all others, were the teachers of Plato, and 
it was from the inspirations of their insights that he drew 
his own magnificent vision of the world. 


The vivid impression one derives from a reading of 
Plato is of the intensity of his conviction of the unreality 
of sensible things. The world of sense, of sight and hear- 
ing and taste and touch, in which most men chiefly dwell 
is for him a shadow world. At its best it is but a symbol 
obscurely imitating the character of the reality which it 
veils; in its normal function it is a delusional mirage; 
and at its worst, when it conveys the deception of knowl- 
edge, it is the fount of corruption and the seed of damna- 
tion. The Greek argument against our commonsense con- 
viction that what we see and touch is real is about as 
follows: All objects of sense suffer perpetual change; they 
never are this or that, but are always in a process of be- 
coming or of ceasing to be this or that; hence, we cannot 
justly describe them as being anything, or indeed as hav- 
ing any true existence of any sort. Heraclitus remarked 
that one cannot bathe in the same river twice, and Cratylus, 
the sceptic, after remarking that we cannot in fact bathe 
in the same river even once, finally, as Aristotle tells us, 


ceased speech altogether on the ground that it was impos- 
sible to say any thing that is true; to inquisitors he would 
reply merely by a wagging of the finger, his mutely eloquent 
asseveration of his master's dogma that "All things flow/' 
Plato accepted this doctrine, as he also accepted Socrates's 
conception that ignorance is essential vice, and combining 
the two, to the sceptical he added a moral condemnation of 
the world of sense : not only does it not give us truth, but 
because, as he says, "ignorance is the aberration of a mind 
bent on truth," through the intensity of its illusions it 
betrays the soul's integrity. 

The Cratylean denial of the possibility of discourse is 
thus, for Plato, the proclamation of moral ruin, and at 
such his sanity revolts. Nor is the way of salvation hard 
to find. If sense be false, ideas may yet be true, and in its 
own proper world discourse may be dealing with reality. 
"Knowledge" these are Plato's words "does not consist 
in impressions of sense, but in reasoning about them; in 
that only, and not in the mere impression, truth and being 
can be obtained." And again: "Things of which there 
is no rational account are not knowable .... things which 
have a reason or explanation are knowable." Plato's 
"world of Ideas," as it is called, is in fact but the assertion 
that our speech is significant, and that this significance, 
not the courses of sense, is what we mean by reality. "The 
word expresses more than the fact" and "in the nature of 
things the actual must always fall short of the truth." 

Plato's idealism is thus simply a sane and unconquer- 
able conviction that there is a realm of truth, and his whole 
philosophy is an effort to find out this truth. In the Phae- 
drus he speaks of truth as "the pilot of the soul" ; in the 
Philebus he asserts that the soul has "a power or faculty 
of loving truth and of doing all things for the sake of it" ; 
and in the Phaedo he makes Socrates, about to take the 
hemlock, preface his great argument for the soul's immor- 


tality with a wise caution against the bias of desire, "I 
would ask you to be thinking of the truth and not of 

Yet Plato has no illusory notion that truth is of easy 
access. Immersed as we are in a sea of distorting sensa- 
tion, our knowledge at its best is only a faith. "For there 
is no light of justice or temperance or any of the higher 
ideas which are precious to souls in the earthly copies of 
them: they are seen through a glass darkly." In the 
famous image of the den, wherein mankind are the chained 
prisoners, with their eyes fixed upon the shadows of real-' 
ity, Plato reminds us that even were our eyes opened to 
the upper world the light of reality would sear our vision. 
All that we can hope for is such intimations of the truth 
as we can gather from the allegory of nature. 

And with a curious astuteness he emphasizes the affin- 
ity of vision "the clearest aperture of sense" to the 
inner perception of truth. "Sight in my opinion," says 
Timaeus, "is the source of the greatest benefit to us, for 
had we never seen the stars and the sun and the heavens, 
none of the words which we have spoken about the universe 
would ever have been uttered. But now the sight of day 
and night, and the months and the revolutions of the years, 
have created number, and have given us a conception of 
time, and the power of inquiring about the nature of the 
universe ; and from this source we have derived philosophy, 
than which no greater good ever was or will be given by 
the gods to mortal men .... God invented and gave us sight 
to the end that we might behold the courses of intelligence 
in the heavens, and apply them to the courses of our own 
intelligence which are akin to them, the unperturbed to the 
perturbed; and that we, learning them and partaking of 
the natural truth of reason, might imitate the absolutely 
unerring courses of God and regulate our own vagaries." 

In this remarkable passage Plato compresses not only 


the actual history of science, but its psychological founda- 
tions and its metaphysical ends, with a precision truly 
astonishing. I cannot dwell upon the multitude of analo- 
gies that it suggests, but the fundamentals are obvious; 
for the sense of sight is in fact the pattern of intelligence; 
perception of the heavens has given us our measures of 
time, and has created number and the science of the calen- 
dar which is the parent of all the sciences and of philos- 
ophy as well; and again the constancies of the celestial 
bodies have ever seemed to men, as Plato says, the regu- 
lation and the healing of their own errant ways. The whole 
life of reason is summarized and prophesied in this natural 

And yet, let us repeat, it remains for Plato throughout 
an allegory. All science is an allegory and an art. What 
men call nature, the experiences that in human life stand 
over against our essential humanity, is after all unreal. 
It may image reality because it is the product of creative 
reason, but beyond this power of imaging its only being is 
scenic and mirage-like. 

"The starry heaven which we behold is wrought upon 
a visible ground, and therefore, although the fairest and 
most perfect of visible things must necessarily be deemed 
inferior far to the true motions of absolute swiftness and 
absolute slowness, which are relative to each other, and 
carry with them that v/hich is contained in them, in the 
true number and in every figure. Now, these are to be 
apprehended by reason and intelligence, but not by sight . . . 
The spangled heavens should be used as a pattern and with 
a view to that higher knowledge ; their beauty is like the 
beauty of figures or pictures excellently wrought by the 
hand of Daedalus, or some other great artist, which we 
may chance to behold; any geometrician who saw them 
would appreciate the exquisiteness of their workmanship, 
but he would never dream of thinking that in them he 


could find the true equal or the true double, or the truth 
of any other proportion .... And will not the true astron- 
omer have the same feeling when he looks at the movements 
of the stars ? Will he not think that heaven and the things 
in heaven are framed by the Creator of them in the most 
perfect manner ? But he will never imagine that the pro- 
portions of night and day, or of both to the month, or of the 
month to the year, or of the stars to these and to one an- 
other, and any other things that are material and visible 
can also be eternal and subject to no deviation that would 
be absurd." 

Where the ancients said "astronomy" we say "physics," 
remarks a savant of our own day; and is it not obvious 
that Plato's words hold with perfect truth of our own 
science? For we, like Plato, to not look to the visible and 
sensible world for our realities, but to an ideal world which 
is only faintly intimated by the riddle of the senses. 
Whether it be as in our mechanical sciences a world of 
atoms and molecules or of ether vortices or of electrons and 
ions, or as in our biological sciences a world of genera and 
species, in every case we hypothecate a realm of forms, of 
ideas, as the essential reality of all natural phenomena. We 
vary no whit from Plato in all this; and indeed, little as 
they may suspect it, all our scientists are good Platonians. 

But where we do vary from Plato is in the kind of 
value which we set upon our ideas. For we regard our 
scientific knowledge as ultimate and as a kind of divine 
possession in itself, whereas Plato held it to be only a 
means whereby men can dimly approach the being of divin- 
ity. In his own phrase we are "thrice removed from the 
king and the truth" : behind the world of sense is the world 
of mathematical forms which are in turn but the reflection 
of the divine intelligence. Sense is the allegory of science, 
but science itself is only our human parable of divinity 
a myth whose meaning is the mind of God. Science is thus 


a purely human instrument, and truth, our human, intel- 
lectual truth, is but the device whereby we adumbrate the 
nature of being. "The Deity," says Plutarch in one of his 
expositions of Plato, "stands in no need of science, as an 
instrument to withdraw his intellect from things engen- 
dered and to turn it to the realities ; for these are all in him, 
and with him, and about him/' It is only the weakness of 
human insight that makes the world-myth a significant 


Plato, his critics are accustomed to say, resorts to al- 
legory, to what he himself calls myth, when he encounters 
problems with which rational analysis alone is unable to 
cope. The lordly tales which adorn his dialogues these 
critics view as imaginative ornaments which Plato himself 
takes only half seriously. This I believe to be a misunder- 
standing. It is characteristic of these myths that they are 
introduced not when Plato is analyzing the nature of being, 
but when he has passed to a discussion of becoming, that is, 
when cosmic history rather than metaphysical organization 
is his theme. Now it is this province of becoming, which 
we should call the field of empirical science, which is, in 
Plato's view, itself an allegorical reality. And in resorting 
to allegory for its description he is but emphasizing the 
duplex nature of the fact. There is no field of discourse 
where positive statement is so easy and so dangerous as 
in the field of science (in our modern sense), and in dis- 
cussing the problems of change Plato employs myths pri- 
marily in order that he may avoid dogmatism. Empirical 
science is for him a work of human art, just as the empirical 
universe is God's work of art; and he would not have us 
forget, what we are so prone to forget, that our construc- 
tions of cosmic realities give us at best but a verisimilitude, 
or as he would say, an "imitation" of the truth. In speak- 


ing of the empiric world, he repeats again and again, we 
can use but the "language of probability," and the language 
of probability is myth. 

When therefore Plato, in the language of probability 
or of myth, sketches for us the cosmic drama which is the 
history of the world, it is with no Laplacean confidence in 
the invulnerability of his representation. Rather he is 
aware that at the core it cannot be the essential truth of 
the cosmos : science is given us in order that we may "imi- 
tate," as he says, "the absolutely unerring courses of God 
and regulate our own vagaries" : it is not and cannot give 
dogmatic knowledge. "Law and order," to quote once more, 
"deliver the soul"; and there is a trenchant difference be- 
tween this and our modern conception that the soul is but 
an automatic reflection of external laws and orders. 

The motive which animates Plato's cosmological specu- 
lations is thus clearly a humanistic motive. He is con- 
cerned for truth, but only for such truth as bears directly 
upon men's conduct, and this he does not expect to find 
in the sensible world. For him, as for Dante, the world 
in time and space is but the vesture of man's life, whose 
essence and reality is to be sought in that divine nature of 
which apparent nature is the image. Truth, then, must 
be appraised, and the appraiser is the Good and the Per- 
fect, for "nothing imperfect is the measure of anything." 

The conception of a cosmic drama a world-play hav- 
ing, as Aristotle would say, a beginning, a middle and an 
end, a complication and a solution, is not new with Plato. 
It appears in the theogonic epics and in the notions of the 
physical philosophers of the earlier period. But it is with 
Plato that the proper motive of the plot appears; and this 
is the striving for the good. With Plato's predecessors 
the moral problem had been (as it is to our scientists) ad- 
ventitious ; with Plato it is central, and we can understand 
his science of first and last things only when we see in it, 


as he saw in nature, a cosmic staging of the search for 

Genesis and eschatology represent respectively the com- 
plication and solution of the plot. Genesis, the tale of ori- 
gins, is treated most completely in the Timaeus', cosmic 
justice and its judgments is the theme of the speculative 
cosmology of Socrates in the Phaedo and of the vision of 
Er in the Republic. In these and in allied passages Plato 
draws for us his world emblem. 

Plato begins his genesis, in the Timaeus, with an asser- 
tion of dualism. "First," says Timaeus, "we must make 
a distinction and ask, What is that which always is and 
has no becoming ; and what is that which is always becom- 
ing and never is? That which is apprehended by intelli- 
gence and reason is always in the same state; but that 
which is conceived by opinion with the help of sensation 
and without reason, is always in a process of becoming 
and perishing and never really is." In its inception this 
dualism is a logical one, hypostatized into the familiar 
Platonic antithesis of the World of Sense and the World 
of Ideas. But very speedily we perceive that the moral 
antithesis of good and evil is in it also. The kernel of 
Plato's thought is the old philosophical dualism of Nous 
and Chaos, and even the older mythic dualism of Heaven 
and Earth; and, as does the earlier thought, he identifies 
Mind and Light with Goodness, and Disorder and Dark- 
ness with Evil. 

"God desired that all things should be good and nothing 
bad, so far as this was attainable. Wherefore also finding 
the whole visible sphere not at rest, but moving in an irreg- 
ular and disorderly fashion, out of disorder he brought 
order, considering that this was in every way better than 
the other. Now the deeds of the best could never be or 
have been other than the fairest ; and the creator, reflecting 
on the things which are by nature visible, found that no 


unintelligent creature taken as a whole was fairer than the 
intelligent taken as a whole ; and that intelligence could not 
be present in anything which was devoid of soul. For which 
reason, when he was framing the universe, he put intel- 
ligence in soul, and soul in body, that he might be the 
creator of a work which was by nature fairest and best. 
Wherefore, using the language of probability, we may say 
that the world became a living creature truly endowed with 
soul and intelligence by the providence of God." 

In .these words of Timaeus, Plato outlines his concep- 
tion of creation. God, perceiving the disorder of Chaos, 
designs to redeem it by imparting to it the image of mind, 
of Cosmos, order. He creates it, therefore, in the likeness 
of a perfect animal (jiavte^eg q>ov), "the very image of 
that whole of which all other animals both individually and 
in their tribes are portions." First he created its soul, the 
anima mundi, "to be the ruler and mistress, of whom the 
body was to be the subject," organized from the categories 
of thought, from identity and difference and essence, in 
harmony of number. Afterwards he gave it body, inter- 
fusing with the visible body the rational soul, so that the 
whole universe of being became one animal endowed with 
soul (cpov 8(Ai|rux v )- 

"And he gave to the world the figure which was suit- 
able and also natural. Now to the animal which was to 
comprehend all animals, that figure was suitable which 
comprehends within itself all other figures. Wherefore 
he made the world in the form of a globe, round as from 
a lathe, having its extremes in every direction equidistant 
from the center, the most perfect and the most like itself of 
all figures ; for he considered that the like is infinitely fairer 
than the unlike. This he finished off, making the surface 
smooth all round for many reasons; in the first place be- 
cause the living being had no need of eyes when there was 
nothing remaining outside of him to be seen ; nor of ears 


when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no 
surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there 
have been any use of organs by the help of which he might 
receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, 
since there was nothing that went from him or came into 
him : for there was nothing beside him .... And, as he had 
no need to take anything or defend himself against any 
one, the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon 
him hands: nor had he any need of feet nor of the whole 
apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his 
spherical form was assigned to him, .... and he made the 
universe a circle moving within a circle, one and solitary, 
yet by reason of its excellence able to converse with itself, 
and needing no other friendship or acquaintance. Having 
these purposes in view he created the world a blessed god." 
"When the father and creator saw the creature which 
he had made moving and living, the created image of the 
eternal gods, he rejoiced, and in his joy determined to 
make the copy still more like the original ; and as this was 
eternal, he sought to make the universe eternal, so far as 
might be. Now the nature of the ideal being was ever- 
lasting, but to bestow this attribute in its fullness upon a 
creature was impossible. Wherefore he resolved to have 
a moving image of eternity, and when he set in order the 
heaven, he made this image eternal but moving according 
to number, while eternity itself rests in unity; and this 
image we call time." Time came into being with the heav- 
ens which measure it, and will be dissolved with them, 
says Plato ; but space is of another origin. For besides the 
reason which gives cosmic form there is another cause of 
being, a principle of limitation which Plato calls necessity. 
We must conceive, he says, of three natures: first, that 
which is in process of generation, and this would be the 
world of nature as we experience it ; second, that in which 
the generation takes place, and this is the recipient or 


matrix of nature; and third, that of which the generated 
world is an image, and this is the cosmic reason or form. 
"We may liken the receiving principle to a mother, and 
the source or spring to a father, and the intermediate 
nature to a child/' he says, and we think immediately of the 
mythopoetic union of Earth and Heaven and of the Life of 
Nature which is its offspring. But for Plato this is a mere 
trope ; he does not rest without being scientifically explicit. 
There are three kinds of being: that which is uncreated 
and indestructible, changeless, eternal, imperceptible to any 
sense, open only to the contemplation of the intelligence, 
and this is the principle of the Father, the ideal or formal 
essence of the world; again, that which is sensible and 
created and always in motion, the Child, the world of 
change and life; and finally, there is a third nature, the 
Mother, which, like the Father, is eternal and admits not 
of destruction, which provides a home for all created 
things, and is apprehended "without the help of sense, by 
a kind of spurious reason, and is indeed hardly real." This 
nature is space, and we "beholding as in a dream, say of 
all existence that it must of necessity be in some place and 
occupy a space, but that what is neither in heaven nor in 
earth has no existence." 

This mothering space which is hardly real, yet is the 
cause of the determinism of nature, Plato identifies as the 
material element of being. As pure matter it is purely in- 
determinate, but it is receptive of all determinations. The 
four elements, earth, air, fire and water, are formed from it, 
for "the mother substance becomes earth and air, in so 
far as she receives the impressions of them." Plato's con- 
ception of the formation of these elements from the original 
substance was as purely mathematical as are our modern 
physical notions. "God fashioned them by form and num- 
ber," he says; and the forms which he assigned were the 
forms of the regular solids. Thus the form of the fiery 


element is the pyramid, of air the octahedron, of water the 
icosahedron, of earth the cube. The fifth solid, the dodeca- 
hedron is the form of the universe as a whole, or perhaps 
one might say the scaffold upon which the spherical uni- 
verse is constructed. Further, these elements are them- 
selves compounded of simpler mathematical forms, the 
pyramid, octahedron and icosahedron of scalene, the cube 
of equilateral triangles; so that if we regard the elements 
as molecules, we may view the triangles as atoms of the 
material substrate. 

Doubtless it was this geometrical account of matter 
which gave rise to the saying ascribed to Plato that 
"God always geometrizes," for God, says Plutarch in his 
commentary on the saying, made the world in no other 
way than by setting terms to infinite and chaotic mat- 
ter. But it is not with the mathematical aspect of Plato's 
theory that we are here most concerned, but with its 
moral bearings. For it is in matter that Plato finds the 
root of evil, and, if we may so put it, the villainy of 
the world. In framing the inhabitants of the world, ac- 
cording to the account of Timaeus, the Creator made first 
the race of gods, perfect and immortal ; but of the race of 
men he made only the souls, their bodies were handed over 
to the created gods to be composed of perishable matter. 
"The part of them worthy of the name immortal, which is 
called divine and is the guiding principle of those who are 
willing to follow justice and you (the gods) of that divine 
part I will myself/' saith the Creator, "sow the seed, and 
having made a beginning, I will hand the work over to 
you. And do ye then interweave the mortal with the im- 
mortal, and make and beget living creatures, and give them 
food, and make them to grow, and receive them again in 

And having made souls equal in number to the stars, 
and having assigned each soul to a star, and there placed 


them as in a chariot, God "showed them the nature of the 
universe, and declared to them the laws of destiny, ac- 
cording to which their first birth would be one and the 
same for all, no one should suffer a disadvantage at his 
hands," and he showed them how "he who lived well 
during his appointed time was to return and dwell in his 
native star, and there would have a blessed and congenial 
existence; but if he failed in attaining this," he would be 
reborn into some brute who resembled him in evil nature, 
nor would his toils and transformations cease until the 
principle of reason had enabled him to overcome "the turbu- 
lent and irrational mob of later accretions, made up of fire 
and air and water and earth" and return to his first and 
purer state. And "having given all these laws to his 
creatures, that he might be guiltless of future evil in any 
of them, the Creator sowed some of them in the earth, and 
some in the moon, and some in the other instruments of 
time; and when he had sown them he committed to the 
younger gods the fashioning of their mortal bodies, and 
desired them to furnish what was still lacking to the human 
soul, and to rule over them, and to pilot the mortal animal 
in the best and wisest manner which they could, and avert 
from him all but self-inflicted evils." 

In these passages we see the rationale of the Platonic 
doctrines of anamnesis and metempsychosis, or recollection 
and transmigration. The great image in the Phaedrus of 
the soul in its chariot driving the unruly and the ruly 
steed, and the descriptions of a future-world judgment in 
the Phaedo and Republic, in which these doctrines are pre- 
sented, appear as necessary scenes in the cosmic drama. 
The motive of that drama is the conflict of form and matter, 
Nous and Chaos, which on its theological side is the conflict 
of God and Necessity as the two principles of being, and in 
its moral aspect is the strife of Good and Evil. In each 
of these senses Plato is a dualist; and if he describes chaos 


and matter and evil in negative terms, this is not because 
he views them as non-existent (as our modern idealists 
seem to do), but because he regards them as impermanent, 
and hence as unreal ; for Plato defines the real as the per- 
manent, never, however, meaning thereby to deny genuine- 
ness of our experience of change and hence of imperfection 
and evil. 

Nevertheless, Good and Evil, God and the Devil, are 
not in Plato's conception coordinate powers. Their differ- 
ence is a difference of dramatic position. In the world- 
conflict we, as human beings, are all enlisted on the side 
of the good, and if we are traitorous to it this is because 
of the deceit of the enemy. "For as we acknowledge the 
world to be full of many goods and also of evils, and of 
more evils than goods, there is, as we affirm, an immortal 
conflict going on among us, which requires marvelous 
watchfulness, and in that conflict the gods and demigods 
are our allies and we are their property/' No Persian has 
ever stated this fundamental dualism more emphatically 
nor adhered to it more uncompromisingly. From it Plato 
deduces the ascetic rule of life which recurs in his writings 
so repeatedly. "Evils/* says Socrates in the Theaetetus, 
"can never pass away; for there must always remain some- 
thing which is antagonistic to good. Having no place 
among the gods in heaven, of necessity they hover around 
the mortal nature and this earthly sphere. Wherefore we 
ought to fly away from earth to heaven as quickly as we 
can/' And from it, too, comes Plato's clear-eyed percep- 
tion that the idea of good holds the hegemony over all 
our interests, scientific and esthetic as well as moral. It is 
the good as our pragmatists say which makes truth true 
and is indeed the measure of reality. For "that which 
imparts truth to the known and the power of knowing to 
the knower is what I would have you term the idea of good, 
and this you will deem to be the cause of science, and of 


truth in so far as the latter becomes the subject of knowl- 
edge ; beautiful too, as are both truth and knowledge, you 
will be right in esteeming this other nature as more beauti- 
ful than either ; and as light and sight may be truly said to 
be like the sun and yet not to be the sun, so in this other 
sphere, science and truth may be deemed to be like the 
good, but not the good ; the good has a place of honor yet 


Let me briefly recapitulate Plato's view. In the begin- 
ning were God and Chaos. And God strove to impress the 
spirit of order, which is his own divine spirit, upon the face 
of the Void. And in his own image he created a soul of the 
World, and the name of this soul is Cosmos, Order. And to 
this divine soul he united a body, hewn from Chaos, and this 
soul in this body forms the visible Heaven and all that is 
therein. And he created inhabitants for the world which he 
had made, the race of gods and of demigods and the race of 
mortal men; and these were to be his allies and his help- 
mates in the redemption of Chaos. For Chaos is ruled by 
blind Necessity, and the horror of its blindness enters into 
all being in which it has a share ; so that not men nor demi- 
gods nor gods are free from the peril of Darkness, which 
is the peril of their material and temporal being. Where- 
fore it behooves them, men and gods, to strive nobly after 
the Good, holding fast to the image of divinity which is in 
them. And to this strife there is and there can be no end. 
For Chaos is coequal with God, infinite in change as God 
is infinite in might ; and the conflict of the two is the eternal 
struggle for the world's salvation which is the world's life. 

In conclusion, I would say a word in regard to the 
wonderful vitality of Plato's thought; for to no other phi- 
losopher has it been given to lay such lasting hold at once 
upon men's reason and upon their affectionate imagination. 
I think the clue to this will appear if we compare his atti- 


tude with that of his great pupil and competitor toward the 
man from whom both derive their inspiration. For Aris- 
totle, the arch-intellectualist, saw in Socrates but the in- 
ventor of definition "two things may be fairly ascribed 
to Socrates, inductive arguments and universal definition" 
and he made definition the very core of his own meta- 
physics. But for Plato Socrates is first and last that "mid- 
wife of souls" which he would have himself to be. Plato, 
in other words, had caught what Aristotle missed, the cen- 
tral spirituality of Socrates's teaching. 

Plato is a great dialectician and a master of the things 
of the intellect, but he knew, as Socrates had taught, that 
reason alone cannot bring us to the truth, and that science 
is no capable vessel of reality. When "all philosophers 
proclaim, as with one voice, that mind is the king of heaven 
and earth in reality they are but magnifying themselves," 
he says ; for he knows well that beyond the symbols of sense, 
which are the symbols of our reason, there is a more splen- 
did reality. We can see this other-world truth but as in 
a glass darkly; we can speak of it only in myth and 
allegory ; we can hope for its realization never save in those 
aeon-parted moments of the cosmic cycles when the soul, 
after its hour of agony, has brought its steeds to that outer 
revolving heaven whence the things that are beyond stand 
revealed. And "of that heaven which is above the heavens, 
what earthly poet ever did or ever will sing worthily ? . . . . 
There abides the very being with which true knowledge is 
concerned; the colorless, formless, intangible essence, vis- 
ible only to mind, who is the pilot of the soul. The divine 
intelligence, being nurtured upon mind and pure knowl- 
edge, and the intelligence of every soul which is capable of 
receiving the food proper to it, rejoices at beholding real- 
ity, and once more gazing upon truth, is replenished and 
made glad, until the revolution of the worlds brings her 
round again to the same place." 


Such is the beatific vision, and "how can he who has 
magnificence of mind and is the spectator of all time and 
all existence think much of human life?" Surely he will 
value it only for this spiritual prospect which it promises ; 
"he will look at the city which is within him" whereof the 
pattern is the heavenly city; and "he will live after the 
manner of that city, having nothing to do with any other." 

Is it not because of this faith in the spiritual reality of 
the world-life, which is a faith in the spiritual power of 
mankind, that Plato has brought conviction to the minds of 
his fellows, generation after generation, the edifice of his 
thought standing secure amid the rise and decay of com- 
peting systems ? And is there other measure of truth than 




" I ^HAT Berkeley was keenly interested in mathematics 
1 is well known. In the Commonplace Book a great 
deal of attention is paid to mathematical questions; it is 
noticeable, indeed, that in its pages Berkeley refers to 
mathematicians far more frequently than to philosophers. 
The extent of his interest in mathematics is indicated also 
by a group of early writings, Arithmetica absque Algebra 
aut Euclide demonstrata, and Miscellanea Mathematica 
which includes papers "de Radicibus Surdis," "de Cono 
Aequilatero et Cylindro eidem Sphaerae circumscriptis," 
"de Ludo Algebraico," and "Paraenetica quaedam ad stu- 
dium matheseos praesertim Algebrae." Both of these 
tracts were written in 1705 and first published in 1707. 
Belonging to the same period is the essay "Of Infinites/' 
which is in part concerned with the infinitesimal calculus. 
Berkeley deals with mathematical questions also in The 
Principles (1710) and in De Motu (1721), and his criti- 

* The following article contains, in its treatment of Berkeley's early work 
which was not published for generations after it was written, a new and im- 
portant contribution to the history of mathematics. It will also be of interest 
to our readers to know that editions of the books by Barrow and Wallis men- 
tioned in this article are in preparation. They are edited by Mr. J. M. Child 
and will appear in the "Open Court Classics of Science and Philosophy." 
Further, in the same series a small volume by Prof. Florian Cajori on the 
history of fluxional concepts from the time of Newton is also in preparation. 
It will contain a detailed account of the Analyst controversy. Finally it is to 
be noticed that Berkeley's doctrine of "compensation of errors" in the cal- 
culus was later advocated by the eminent mathematicians Lagrange and Lazare 
Carnot. Proofs of this article did not reach the author who was absent on 
military service. ED. 


cisms of the logical basis of the infinitesimal calculus in The 
Analyst ( 1734) and A Defence of Free-Thinking in Math- 
ematics (1735) are of considerable importance in the his- 
tory of mathematics. 

In this paper I propose to consider the mathematical 
views stated in Berkeley's Commonplace Book and Analyst. 
In both cases he is concerned mainly with the logical basis 
of mathematics. 

Berkeley very clearly perceived that his "new principle" 
involved difficulties with regard to the nature of mathe- 
matics. The "new principle" implied that lines consist of 
a finite number of points, that surfaces consist of a finite 
number of lines, and that solids consist of a finite number 
of surfaces. Thus ultimately all geometrical figures are 
composed of complexes of points, which are regarded by 
Berkeley as ultimate individualities. These indivisibles 
are minima sensibilia, the minutest possible objects of sense. 
It is impossible that the minimum sensibile should be divis- 
ible, because in that case we should have something of 
which our senses could not make us aware, and that, Ber- 
keley believes, is simply a contradiction. 1 

Sensation, then, is the test of all geometrical relations. 
Thus equality depends simply on our inability to distin- 
guish in sense-perception. "I can mean nothing by equal 
lines but lines which it is indifferent whether of them I 
take, lines in which I observe by my senses no difference." 2 
He explicitly considers the claims of imagination and pure 
intellect to judge of geometrical relations, and summarily 
rejects their pretensions. Imagination, he points out, is 
based on sensation, and has no other authority than that 
of the senses. It has no means of judging but what it de- 
rives from the senses, and, as it is removed by one stage 
from immediate sense-perception, and has its knowledge 

i Berkeley's Works, Oxford, 1901, Vol. I, p. 86. 
*Ibid. t 1,22. 


only at second-hand, it is in fact not so well fitted as sen- 
sation to judge and discriminate. Pure intellect, Berkeley 
continues, has no jurisdiction in mathematics, for it is con- 
cerned only with the operations of the mind, and "lines 
and triangles are not operations of the mind." 3 

Now this view of the nature of geometry is the direct 
consequence of Berkeley's early metaphysical doctrine, but 
it is interesting to note that it also connected itself in his 
mind with the method of indivisibles maintained by the 
Italian mathematician Cavalieri. "All might be demon- 
strated," he says, "by a new method of indivisibles, easier 
perhaps and juster than that of Cavalerius." 4 What pre- 
cisely Cavalieri meant by his conception of indivisibles is 
open to doubt, but it is certain that Berkeley's sympathy 
would be elicited by his demonstration that quantities are 
composed of indivisible units, a line being made up of 
points, a surface of lines, and a volume of surfaces. It is 
possible, though he is very obscure, that he regarded areas 
as composed of exceedingly small indivisible atoms of area. 
Berkeley's conception is very similar to this; but whereas 
Cavalieri maintained that the number of points in a line 
is infinite, Berkeley was convinced that no line or surface 
can contain more than a finite number of points, points 
for him being minima sensibilia. This, then, is Berkeley's 
"new method of indivisibles." 

It will follow that geometry must be conceived to be 
an applied science. The only pure science will be algebra, 
for it alone deals with signs in abstraction from concrete 
things. Geometry may be regarded as an application of 
arithmetic and algebra to points, i. e., the minima sensi- 
bilia which constitute the whole of concrete reality, Ber- 
keley admits that it is difficult for us "to imagine a mini- 
mum," 5 but the reason is simply that we have not been 
accustomed to take note of it separately. In reading we 

3 Ibid., I, 22 ; cf . I, 14. * Ibid., I, 87. Ibid., I, 85. 


do not usually notice explicitly each particular letter; but 
the words and pages can be analyzed down to these mini- 
mal letters. Similarly, though we are not explicitly aware 
of the minima sensibilia, they do exist separately, and may 
be analyzed as indivisibles in the complex sense-datum 
presented to us in perception. Geometry, then, is an ap- 
plied science dealing with finite magnitudes composed of 
indivisible minima sensibilia. 

If this conception of geometry be adopted, it imme- 
diately follows, as Berkeley very clearly perceived, that 
most of the traditional Euclidean geometry must be re- 
jected, (i) In the first place, on the new theory, not all 
lines are capable of bisection. 6 Only those lines which con- 
sist of an even number of points can be bisected. If the 
number of points composing the line be odd, then (sup- 
posing bisection to be possible) the line of bisection would 
have to pass through the central point. But the point is 
ex hypothesi indivisible; hence the line does not admit of 
bisection. (2) Again, the mathematical doctrine of the 
incommensurability of the side and diagonal of the square 
must be rejected. 3 For since both the side and the diagonal 
of the square consist of a finite number of points, the rela- 
tion between these lines will always be capable of exact 
numerical expression. Berkeley even makes the general 
statement, "I say there are no incommensurables, no 
surds." 8 (3) It follows that one square can never be 
double another, for that is possible only on the assumption 
of incommensurables. And it also follows that the Pythag- 
orean theorem (Euclid, I, 47) is false. 9 (4) Further, it 
is no longer possible to maintain that a mean proportional 
may be found between any two given lines. A mean pro- 

9 Ibid. f I, 79,80. 

7 Ibid. f I, 60, 78, 79. 

8 Ibid., I, 14. 

9 Ibid., I, 19. 


portional will be possible, on Berkeley's theory, only in the 
special case where the numbers of the points contained in 
the two lines will, if multiplied together, produce a square 
number. 10 (5) Finally, the important work that had re- 
cently been done on the problem of squaring the circle is, 
in Berkeley's view, quite useless. Any visible or tangible 
circle, i. e., any actually constructed circle, may be squared 
approximately; and it is therefore time thrown away to 
invent general methods for the quadrature of all circles. 

That his new doctrine necessitated such a clean sweep 
of important mathematical propositions, most of which had 
been accepted for hundreds of years, might well have given 
pause to an even more confident man than Berkeley; for 
(to take only one instance) apart from its startling theo- 
retical aspects, serious practical difficulties would arise if 
some lines should prove incapable of bisection. Berkeley 
therefore suggests that for practical purposes small errors 
may be neglected. Though we cannot bisect a line con- 
sisting of 5 points, we can divide it into two parts, one 
containing 3 points, the other 2; and, as the minimum 
sensibile is so minute, it makes no practical difference that 
the lines are only approximately equal. Berkeley was in- 
fluenced to make this suggestion by the method of neglect- 
ing differences practised in the calculus. 11 If differentials, 
which are admitted to be something, are overlooked under 
certain circumstances in the calculus, are we not justified 
in the new geometry, Berkeley asks, in neglecting every- 
thing less than the minimum sensibile? 12 The resulting 
errors will be so slight that the usefulness of geometry, 

10 Ibid., I, 14. 
"Ibid., I, 85. 

12 It might seem that in our approximate bisection of the line we have 
neglected a whole minimum sensibile. But from the point of view of the 
error involved in each of the resulting parts we are not guilty of that. Each 
of the parts ought to contain 2^ points. Now each of the lines obtained by 
the approximate method differs from this by only ^ a point. Hence the error 
to be neglected in each case is less than a minimum sensibile. And this is the 
condition laid down by Berkeley. 


which it must be remembered is a practical science, will 
not seriously be impaired. 13 

It is of peculiar interest to notice that Berkeley was 
influenced to neglect small errors, and to justify his proce- 
dure, by the example of the differential calculus. For in 
the Analyst, written nearly thirty years later, he vigorously 
attacked the method of ignoring small errors in the cal- 
culus. What a triumph for his opponents in the Analyst 
controversy if they could have seen the Commonplace 
Book I 

But though Berkeley made use of the illegitimate 
method suggested by the calculus, his attitude to the cal- 
culus itself was from the first exceedingly critical. And 
his motive for criticism is not far to seek. If the calculus 
were sound, then his conception of geometry could not be 
maintained. For the calculus, whether in the form of 
Newton's theory of fluxions or Leibniz's method of dif- 
ferentials, rested, Berkeley believed, on the assumption of 
the existence of infinitely small quantities. Now if these 
infinitesimals were admitted to exist the significance of 
his minima sensibilia would disappear, and indeed the foun- 
dations of his philosophy as a whole would be seriously 
shaken. For if quantities could be proved to exist which 
were neither sensible nor imaginable he would need to re- 
vise his theory of knowledge altogether. He therefore had 
every reason to look with critical eyes on the conception of 
infinitely small quantities. 

In the Commonplace Book he says nothing of import- 
ance with regard to the use to which infinitesimals are put 
in the calculus. Yet even then he was certainly acquainted 
with a good deal of the work that had been done on 
fluxions and differentials. His notes contain references, 
on matters connected with infinitesimals, not only to New- 
ton and Leibniz but also to Barrow, in whose Lectiones 
a., i, 78. 


opticae et geometricae (1669) was given the chief impulse 
to Newton's theory of fluxions; to Wallis (1616-1703), 
whose Arithmetica infinitorum (1656) paved the way for 
the invention of the calculus; to Keill (1671-1721), who, 
in addition to his Introductio ad veram physicam (1702), 
had written of fluxions in the Philosophical Transactions 
of the Royal Society, and took a prominent part in the 
famous "Priority controversy" in which he accused Leib- 
niz of having derived the fundamental ideas of the calculus 
from Newton; to Halley (1656-1742) who in addition to 
his works on astronomy and magnetism wrote on fluxions 
in the Philosophical Transactions] to Cheyne (1671-1743), 
whose Fluxionum methodus inversa ( 1703) and Philosoph- 
ical Principles of Natural Religion (1705) gained him 
admission to the Royal Society ; to Joseph Raphson, whose 
De S patio reali sen ente infinite (1697) contained a defi- 
nition of the infinitely small, and who was afterwards to 
write a History of Fluxions ; and also to two more elemen- 
tary writers, Hayes (1678-1760) who published in 1704 
his Treatise of Fluxions, and John Harris whose New Short 
Treatise of Algebra. . . .Together with a Specimen of the 
Nature and Algorithm of Fluxions (1702) was the first 
elementary book on fluxions to be published in England. 
And that he had not confined his reading to English works 
is proved by his reference to the Analyse des Inflniments 
Petits, and to the controversy between Leibniz and Bern- 
hard Nieuwentijt, a Dutch physician and physicist, which 
took place in 1694-5 in the pages of the Leipsic Act a Eru- 
ditorum. 14 

It is clear, then, that even when the Commonplace 
Book was written Berkeley was acquainted with much of 
the work that had been done in the calculus. But at that 
time he was not in possession of the arguments which he 

14 The last-mentioned references occur, not in the Commonplace Book. 
but in the essay "Of Infinites" (Works, III, 411). 


afterwards advanced against it in the Analyst. 15 In the 
Commonplace Book he does not venture any criticism in 
detail of the use of infinitesimals in the calculus. 16 What 
he is concerned to do there is to prove that infinitesimals 
have no real existence at all. 

His line of argument is indicated twice over, and is 
based on his own metaphysic. For the purpose of his proof 
he posits two axioms: (I) "No word to be used without 
an idea," and (II) "No reasoning about things whereof 
we have no idea." Now we have no idea, Berkeley says, 
of an infinitesimal. By this he means, if his terminology 
be translated, that infinitesimals cannot be either objects 
of sense-perception or objects of representation in imagina- 
tion. Hence, as we have no idea of an infinitesimal, it is 
simply a word. Further, according to axiom I, it is a word 
which means nothing ; and, according to axiom II, we have 
no right to use it in our calculations. 

We have now considered in outline Berkeley's attitude, 
as revealed in the Commonplace Book, to contemporary 
mathematical problems. His willingness to throw over- 
board the solid achievements of the established geometry 
simply because they did not accord with an apergu of his 
own does not encourage us to rate his mathematical ability 
very highly. Or perhaps it would be truer to say that 
when he wrote the Commonplace Book he had not had time 
to steady his outlook upon science and the world; and 
allowance may fairly be made for his youthful dreams of 
a new idea which was destined to revolutionize the sciences, 
when we remember that it was only about seventy-three 
years since Galileo expounded the Copernican theory and 
thus changed entirely the orientation of astronomy and 
indeed of science as a whole. Another Copernican change, 

15 Some of his remarks show that he was at that time, far from under- 
standing its principles and methods (Cf. Commonplace Book, I, 84f). 

16 But there is some criticism of the calculus itself in the essay "Of In- 
finites" (Works, III, 411). And cf. Commonplace Book, I, 83-86. 


he believed, was not impossible; and in any case he was 
inclined to think that the wonderful mathematical renais- 
sance of the previous few decades had, among all its 
triumphs, grown not a few excrescences which it would 
do no harm but much good to pare off. What he really 
wished to do was to examine the logical basis of mathe- 
matics. He did not advance very far in the Commonplace 
Book, but it was part of what he attempted, and with 
greater success, in the Analyst. To the argument of the 
Analyst we now turn. 

The Analyst was published in 1734. It is a curious 
work, and though its purpose is ultimately theological 
rather than mathematical, it gave rise to a mathematical 
controversy which lasted for several years and produced 
more than thirty controversial pamphlets and articles. We 
have no concern with the theological argument of the Ana- 
lyst, but before passing to consider its mathematical im- 
portance, it may be well to mention that the essay is pri- 
marily intended as a defense of Christianity, and that 
Berkeley, acting on the principle that the best defense is 
in attack, criticizes the foundations of mathematics on the 
same lines as those on which Christianity had been opposed 
by "mathematical infidels." In reply to the criticism that 
the dogmas of Christianity are mysterious and incompre- 
hensible, Berkeley maintains that mathematics, universally 
admitted to be the most demonstrable department of human 
knowledge, is, in that regard, in precisely the same position 
as Christianity. For it also makes use of mysterious and 
incomprehensible conceptions, e. g., fluxions and infinitesi- 
mals. If mathematicians accept mystery and incomprehen- 
sibility in mathematics they have no right to object to it 
in Christianity. This is the kernel of Berkeley's argument. 

Berkeley is often regarded, but quite unjustly, as an 
enemy of the infinitesimal calculus. In reality he had no 
objection in the world to the calculus as such. What he 


did was to submit its logical basis to a searching examina- 
tion. He criticized the conception of infinitely small quan- 
tities, which were at that time vaguely conceived as neither 
zero nor finite, but somehow in an intermediate state. They 
were said to be "nascent" and "evanescent" quantities, not 
quite nothing and not quite anything. It was against this 
"vague, mysterious and incomprehensible notion" that all 
Berkeley's attacks were directed; and as soon as it was 
clearly pointed out by one of the parties to the controversy, 
Benjamin Robins, 17 that the calculus did not necessarily 
involve this conception of infinitely small quantities, but 
might be demonstrated by the methods of limits, the con- 
troversy was abandoned by Berkeley. He had replied to 
his other critics, such as Jurin of Cambridge ( "Philalethes 
Cantabrigiensis") and Walton of Dublin, because these 
mathematicians persisted in trying to defend the conception 
of infinitely small quantities. But as soon as it became 
clear, and Robins was the first to make it so, that that con- 
ception was not essential to the calculus, the controversy 
lost interest for Berkeley. For the method of limits, as he 
seems to have realized, is not incomprehensible ; and there- 
fore an attack on it would not have enabled him to use his 
tu quoque argument, and would thus no longer serve his 
purpose, which, it must be remembered, was primarily 
theological. 18 

17 Robins' s contributions to the controversy were contained in his Dis- 
course concerning the Nature and Certainty of Sir Isaac Newton's Methods 
of Fluxions, and of Prime and Ultimate Ratios (1735), and in a series of 
articles in the Republic of Letters in 1736 and in the Works of the Learned 
in 1737. 

18 The course of the Analyst controversy, so far as Berkeley was con- 
cerned, was as follows. In 1734 the Analyst appeared. It was almost imme- 
diately attacked by Jurin in an anonymous tract entitled Geometry no Friend 
to Infidelity; or a Defence of Sir Isaac Newton and the British Mathema- 
ticians. To this Berkeley replied in A Defence of Free-Thinking in Mathe- 
matics, published in March, 1735. To this reply Jurin wrote a rejoinder 
which was published in July of the same year. Berkeley took no notice of it. 

Berkeley had another critic. This was Walton of Dublin, who produced 
in 1735 a Vindication of Sir Isaac Newton's Fluxions. It was replied to in an 
appendix to the second edition of A Defence of Free-Thinking in Mathematics. 
Walton replied, and Berkeley then published his Reasons for not replying to 


But though his motive in writing the Analyst was theo- 
logical, the chief importance of the book, as we must now 
try to show, is mathematical. It is, indeed, an able treatise 
on the logic of mathematics. Berkeley saw that the bril- 
liance of the rapidly accumulating results attained by 
means of the calculus had tended to put into the back- 
ground the question of its logical basis and the validity of 
the methods employed by it. And he did good service to 
mathematics by the publication of the Analyst, for he forced 
upon mathematicians the investigation of the logical basis 
of the new mathematics. "I have no controversy," he says, 
"about your conclusions, but only about your logic and 
method .... I beg leave to repeat and insist that I consider 
the geometrical analyst as a logician, i. e., so far forth as 
he reasons and argues; and his mathematical conclusions, 
not in themselves, but in their premises, not as true or false, 
useful or insignificant, but as derived from such principles 
and by such inferences." 19 As a direct result of this in- 
vestigation originated by Berkeley two highly important 
principles were firmly established, (i) that the calculus 
must be grounded on the method of limits, and (2) that 
the then current conception of infinitely small quantities 
must be abandoned. 

These points will become clear if we examine Berke- 
ley's criticism of Newton's theory of fluxions. In our in- 
vestigation there are three main questions which we must 
ask. (i) Is Berkeley's criticism of Newton valid? (2) 
Is his criticism of current conceptions of infinitesimals 

Mr. Walton's Full Answer. All this took place in 1735. Walton issued a re- 
joinder, but Berkeley took no further part in the controversy. 

It is noticeable that Berkeley participated in the controversy vigorously 
until Robins's book appeared. After that he said not a word. The reason is, 
as we have suggested, that Robins showed that infinitesimals are not essential 
to the calculus. Berkeley must have been convinced by his arguments, and 
therefore realized that it was no longer possible, from his point of view, to 
take part in the controversy. 

"The Analyst, 20. 


sound? (3) Did he really expose any fallacies in the cal- 
culus ? 

i. First, then, we must consider whether Berkeley is 
successful in his criticism of Newton. There is one special 
point in Newton's theory which must be examined with 
some care, for upon it depends the applicability of Berke- 
ley's criticism. The question is this. Did Newton really 
use the conception of infinitely small quantity (in which 
case he would be exposed to the full force of Berkeley's 
arguments), or was his method really that of limiting 
ratios (in which case Berkeley's criticisms would be di- 
rected, so far as Newton is concerned, against a man of 
straw) ? 

It is often held that Newton never used the conception 
of infinitely small quantity, but it was conclusively estab- 
lished by De Morgan that this conception does appear in 
some of his works. De Morgan maintains that until the 
year 1704 when his Opticks was published Newton did be- 
lieve in infinitely small quantities. "In Newton's earliest 
papers," writes De Morgan, "the velocities are only dif- 
ferential coefficients : when A changes from x to x + o, 
B changes from y to y + oq/p, the velocities being p and q. 
Those terms in which o remains are 'infinitely less' than 
those in which it is not, and are therefore 'blotted out.' 
And 'those terms also vanish in which o still remains, be- 
cause they are infinitely little/ " 20 Again, in the first edi- 
tion of the Principia, published in 1687, fluxions are 
founded on infinitesimals, moments being regarded as in- 
finitely small quantities. De Morgan confirms this by rele- 
vant quotations from Newton's Method of Fluxions, written 
in the period 1671-1676) and his Quadratura Curvarum, 
which was originally written about the same time, though 

20 "On the Early History of Infinitesimals in England," Philosophical 
Magazine, 1852, IV, 322-3. 


it was not published till later. So far, Newton certainly 
made use of the conception of infinitely small quantity. 

But in 1704 the Quadrature, Curvarum was issued in 
an appendix to the Opticks. It contained a new preface 
with some important statements regarding infinitesimals. 
"I here consider mathematical quantities," Newton says, 
"not as consisting of minimal parts, but as described by 
continuous motion." 21 "I was anxious to show that in 
the method of fluxions there is no need to introduce into 
geometry figures infinitely small." 22 Now Berkeley was 
well aware that the conception of infinitesimals had been 
thus disclaimed by Newton. In the early essay "Of In- 
finites" he says, "Sir Isaac Newton, in a late treatise, 23 
informs us his method of fluxions can be made out a priori 
without the supposition of quantities infinitely small." 24 

But in 1713, when the second edition of the Principia 
was published, Newton again admitted, though very ob- 
scurely, infinitely small quantities. 25 From all this we may 
conclude that while Newton did not give exclusive adhesion 
to the method of infinitesimals, yet the conception of in- 
finitely small quantity does occur in his writings prior 
to 1704, and though it was renounced in that year it re- 
appears in the second edition of the Principia in 1713. It 
therefore follows that Berkeley's criticism is pertinent. 
Newton, we have decided, did maintain the existence of 

21 "Quantitates mathematicas non ut ex partibus quam minimis constan- 
tes, sed ut motu continue descriptas hie considero." 

22 "Volui astendere quod in methodo fluxionum non opus sit figuras in- 
finite parvas in geometriam introducere." 

23 This refers to the Quadratura Curvarum. Berkeley's "Of Infinites" 
was written about 1706-7. 

2* Berkeley's Works, III, 412. 

25 This point has been regarded as open to doubt. It depends on New- 
ton's definition of moment. The definition is stated somewhat differently, but 
very obscurely in both cases, in the first and second editions of the Principia, 
in Book II, lemma II. But Edleston cites a letter from Newton to Keill 
written in May, 1714, in which he says explicitly, "Moments are infinitely 
little parts" (J. Edleston, Correspondence of Sir Isaac Newton and Professor 
Cotes, p. 176). This seems to be conclusive evidence that Newton still clung 
to infinitesimals. 


infinitely small quantities, and it is against these that Ber- 
keley argues. 

Berkeley points out a serious inconsistency in Newton's 
conception. He shows that at one time Newton admits 
that infinitely small moments may under certain circum- 
stances be altogether omitted in calculation. Against this 
admission he arrays Newton's declaration that in mathe- 
matical operations even the smallest errors must not be 
overlooked. Now the former of these statements is made 
by Newton in the Principia and the latter in the Quadrature! 
Curvarum. The two are obviously inconsistent. Berke- 
ley's critics in the controversy tried to defend Newton in 
various ways, but neither of them dared to admit, even if 
they perceived it, that the inconsistency was due to a 
change in Newton's system. In the Principia, holding a 
conception of infinitesimals, he is forced, precisely as the 
continental exponents of the differential calculus were 
forced, to admit that infinitely small quantities are negli- 
gible in calculation in comparison with those of finite mag- 
nitude. On the other hand, in the Quadratura Curvarum, 
having renounced infinitesimals, he is free to assert that 
even the smallest errors cannot be permitted. Benjamin 
Robins was the first of Newton's defenders to see clearly 
that the systems are different, and that if Newton's posi- 
tion is to be seriously defended it will be necessary to admit 
frankly the change of system, and to maintain that for 
Newton the really fundamental method is the method of 
limits. 26 

28 Berkeley has been accused of bad faith in advancing this criticism. 
He must have seen, it is argued, that the Newton of the Principia was in a 
different position from the Newton of the Quadratura Curvarum, and therefore 
he was not justified in arraying the statements of these two periods against 
one another as evidence of present inconsistency (cf. A. De Morgan, op. cit., 
p. 329). But such an argument overlooks two or three very material facts. 
The first is that Newton himself nowhere explicitly admits a change of sys- 
tem ; in fact he seems anxious to conceal that such a change had taken place. 
Further, with the exception of Robins, Newton's followers were far from 
clear whether or not a change had taken place; and, in any case, as we have 
seen, Newton seems to have returned to the conception of infinitely small 


This is what Robins did, and it has come to be realized 
that the conception of limits forms the true logical basis of 
the calculus. Berkeley's general criticism of Newton is 
perfectly valid, and it was largely owing to his objections 
that the difference between the two methods came to be 
fully appreciated, and that eventually a method of limits 
akin to that of Newton was established as the foundation 
of the calculus. 

But in two respects Berkeley was unfair to Newton. 

a. He never lets his reader know that Newton used the 
method of limits at all, and always speaks as if Newton 
had always held that the method of infinitesimals was es- 
sential to his theory of the calculus. Now the truth is, as 
Robins pointed out, that everything of fundamental im- 
portance in Newton's work is perfectly consistent with 
the method of limits. 

b. He gives Newton no credit for his doctrine of con- 
tinuity. Newton's infinitesimals are, after all, never so 
self-contradictory as those of Leibniz or even of his own 
followers. His infinitely small quantities are not, like Leib- 
niz's differentials, discrete particulars. The Leibnizians 
hold that the "difference" of a line is an infinitely little 
line, the "difference" of a plane an infinitely little plane, 
and so on. And Newton's own followers used the concep- 
tion of infinity in an equally rash way. Thus De Moivre 
regards the fluxion of an area as an infinitely small rect- 
angle; and Halley, to whom Berkeley refers in the Com- 
monplace Book, speaks of infinitely small ratiunculae and 
differ entiolae in much the same way as the Leibnizians. 
Hayes, again, another follower of Newton to whom Ber- 

quantity in 1713. Now, the Analyst was not published till 1734, and at that 
distance of time Berkeley may quite well have regarded Newton's renuncia- 
tion of infinitesimals in 1704 as a temporary aberration. In that case he 
would be perfectly justified in his criticism. 

27 For an appreciation of Benjamin Robins, see Prof. G. A. Gibson's 
review of Cantor's Geschichte der Mathematik in Proc. Edin. Math. Soc., 
1899, pp. 20ff. 


keley also refers, maintains the conception of infinitely 
small quantity with much frankness. "Magnitude," he 
says, "is divisible in inflnitum. Now those infinitely little 
parts, being extended, are again infinitely divisible; and 
those infinitely little parts of an infinitely little part of a 
given quantity are by geometers called infinite simae infini- 
tesimarum or fluxions of fluxions." 2 * But Newton himself 
does not speak in that way. He never forgets that his whole 
system is based on the continuity of motion. Lines are 
generated by the motion of points, planes by the motion of 
lines, and solids by the motion of planes. Fluxions are 
strictly the velocities of the generating motions. And the 
continuity of motion, generating lines, surfaces, and the 
like with varying velocities involves the conception of prime 
and ultimate ratios. To this aspect of Newton's theory 
Berkeley seems to be blind. 

2. Having considered the respects in which Berkeley's 
criticism of Newton is valid, we may now proceed to ask 
whether his criticism of infinitesimals in general will bear 
examination. The general criticism of infinitesimals con- 
sists of two arguments, only one of which seems to be 

a. Berkeley argues to take first the contention that 
seems unsound that infinitesimals are impossible because 
imperceptible. An infinitely small quantity cannot be the 
object either of sense-perception or of imagination, and in 
accordance with the formula esse est percipi it can there- 
fore have no existence. "As our sense is strained and 
puzzled with the perception of objects extremely minute, 
even so the Imagination, which faculty derives from Sense, 
is very much strained and puzzled to frame clear ideas 
of the least particles of time, or the least increments gen- 
erated therein; and much more so to comprehend the 

28 A Treatise of Fluxions, 1704. Quoted by A. De Morgan in Essays on 
the Life and Work of Newton, edited by P. E. B. Jourdain, Chicago and 
London, 1914, p. 91. 


moments, or those increments of the flowing quantities 
in statu nascenti, in their very first origin or beginning to 
exist, before they become finite particles. 29 

Now, this argument is simply at the level of picture- 
thinking. It does not follow that what we are unable to 
perceive in sense-perception or to represent in imagination 
is non-existent. At one time Berkeley's new principle 
would have necessitated this argument, but when the An- 
alyst was written he had outgrown the cruder form of his 
early theory, and in his doctrine of notions he admitted 
that we can have knowledge which comes neither through 
sense nor imagination. He was thus prepared to allow 
that we might have real knowledge not sensuous in its 
origin. His retention of the argument here is a sign that 
he was not completely emancipated from his early sen- 

b. Berkeley's second general argument against infini- 
tesimals is perfectly sound. He points out that the con- 
ception of the infinitely small, whether in the form in which 
it appears in Newton and his followers or as maintained 
by Leibniz, is impossible. It is impossible because it is 
self-contradictory. Whether we regard infinitesimals with 
Leibniz as differences, i. e., as infinitely small increments 
or decrements, or with Newton as fluxions, i. e., velocities 
of nascent or evanescent increments, they involve in their 
nature an ultimate contradiction. On the one hand, an 
infinitesimal seems to be something, for otherwise it would 
not be used in mathematics ; but on the other it seems to 
be nothing, for mathematicians say it may be neglected 
in calculations without affecting the accuracy of their re- 
sults. Sometimes it is called a nascent quantity, i. e., one 
which has left being nothing, but has not yet quite become 
anything; at other times it is called evanescent, i. e., a 
quantity which is still something but is tending to be almost 

" The Analyst, 4. 


(though not quite) nothing. This conception, Berkeley 
insists, is ultimately incomprehensible and contradictory. 
His argument here is, of course, perfectly sound. Infini- 
tesimals, conceived in this vague and loose way, have now, 
very largely owing to the process of criticism initiated by 
Berkeley, been entirely extruded from the calculus. 

3. The last problem which we set before ourselves is 
this. Did Berkeley, apart from stimulating the investiga- 
tion of the logical basis of the calculus, expose any real 
errors in it? From his arguments in the Analyst it would 
seem that two main errors affect the calculus. Berkeley 
maintains that (a) any attempt to demonstrate the value 
of a fluxion involves the violation of ultimate logical prin- 
ciples, and (&) the maxim that infinitely small errors com- 
pensate one another is vicious. A word or two must be 
said on each of these points. 

a. In order to prove the illogicality of the methods of 
determining the value of fluxions, Berkeley examines in 
some detail the two independent demonstrations given by 
Newton. In the Principia Newton gives a geometrical 
proof, in the Quadratures Curvarum an algebraic one. In 
each case, Berkeley seeks to show, a closely analogous 
error is committed. 

Take first New r ton's geometrical demonstration. We 
wish to find the fluxion of the rectangle AB generated by 
the continuous motion of one side upon the other. Let the 
moments or momentaneous increments of A and B be a 
and b respectively. 

When the sides of the rectangles are each diminished 
by half their moments, the rectangle becomes 

(A y 2 a)(B y 2 fc) 
i. e., AB %a& V&K + %db. 

Similarly, when the two sides are increased by half 
their moments, the rectangle becomes 


i.e., AB + y 2 aB + VzbA + %ab. 

Subtract now the former rectangle from the latter, 
and the remainder is aB + bA. This remainder is the 
moment of the rectangle generated by the moments a, b 
of the sides. Such is Newton's proof. 

In criticism of it Berkeley maintains that the natural 
and direct method of obtaining the moment of the rectangle 
AB, when the moments of its sides are a and b, is to multi- 
ply into one another the sides increased respectively by 
their whole moments. 30 The moment of the rectangle is 

(A + a)(B + 6) AB, 
i. e., AB + aB + bA + ab AB, 
i. e., aB + frA + ab. 

This, Berkeley says, is the true moment or increment. 
It differs from that obtained by Newton's proof by the 
quantity ab. Now, as it was essential for the method of 
fluxions to eliminate the term ab, Newton and his followers 
said that it was so infinitely small that it could simply be 
neglected. But against this defense Berkeley quotes New- 
ton's own words, "In rebus mathematicis errores quam 
minimi non sunt contemnendi." 31 

Berkeley shows that Newton's algebraic proof also 
rests on illegitimate assumptions. 32 In this demonstration 
we are given the uniformly flowing quantity x, and it is 
required to find the fluxion of x*. 

Suppose that x, in process of constant flux, becomes 
x + o, then x n becomes (x + 0) n . Expanding this by the 
method of infinite series we get 

(i. e., the increment of x* is n0* n '~~ 1 + %tt(tt-i)0V l "~ 2 +. . ..). 

so The Analyst, 9ff. 

81 Op ticks, Introduction to Quadrature, Curvarum. 

3* The Analyst, 13ff. 


It follows that the increments of x and x* are to each 

other as o to nox n ~ l + %n(n - i)0V*~ 2 + 

or, dividing by the common quantity o, 

as i to n^ nr ~ l + V2n(n-i)o^ n ~' 2 + 

Now, "let the increments vanish," and the last or lim- 
iting proportion is i : nx*~ l . The ratio of the fluxion of x 
to that of x n is as i is to nx*~ l . 

Berkeley points out that this reasoning is illogical. If 
we say, "Let the increments vanish," we imply that the 
increments are really nothing, seeing that they are neg- 
ligible. But we are enabled to arrive at the proportion 
between the fluxions only by assuming that the increments 
are something. Berkeley accordingly maintains that it is 
illogical to reject the increments, and still retain an ex- 
pression, i. e., the proportion of the fluxions, obtained by 
means of them. If we let the increments vanish, we must 
also in consistency let everything derived from the suppo- 
sition of their existence vanish with them. 

This criticism Berkeley supports with a lemma, which 
he states as follows, "If, with a view to demonstrate any 
proposition, a certain point is supposed, by virtue of which 
certain other points are attained ; and such supposed point 
be itself afterward destroyed or rejected by a contrary sup- 
position ; in that case, all the other points attained threby, 
and consequent thereupon, must also be destroyed and re- 
jected, so as from thenceforward to be no more supposed 
or applied in the demonstration." 33 

b. Berkeley goes on to urge that, even though correct 
results are attained by the application of the method of 
fluxions, that does not validate the method as method. That 
the conclusion of a syllogism is true does not necessarily 
imply that the process of reasoning is correct. The conclu- 
sion may be true, and yet logical errors may have been 

The Analyst, 12. 


committed in the process of proof. It is possible to reach a 
true conclusion from false premises by erroneous reason- 
ing. One error compensates the other, and thus, though 
the conclusion is true, the logic is faulty. Precisely similar 
is the case of the calculus. True conclusions may be at- 
tained by it, and results of great practical value may be 
achieved, but its method is unsound because it is based upon 
the illogical principle of the compensation of errors. 

These are the main arguments advanced by Berkeley 
in the Analyst. In the controversy which ensued all the 
points that he raised were traversed and re-traversed, with 
the result that (i) the vague notion of infinitely small 
quantity was abandoned, (2) the method of limiting ratios 
was firmly established, and (3) the principle of the com- 
pensation of errors was seen to be inconsistent with the 
logical foundation of the calculus. 



A?TER the mathematical theory of assemblages had 
been developed, the logic of infinity entered upon a 
new stage. If we cannot as yet determine the final form 
of the doctrine, we can, at least, see at the present time 
in what direction it is tending. After the discovery of 
the calculus of infinite aggregates and after the estab- 
lishment of different exactly distinguished kinds of in- 
finity, the perpetual problem as to the potential or actual 
character of mathematical infinity seems to incline toward 
a solution in terms of actuality. 1 But this actuality seems 
to belong rather to the methodological than to the quan- 
titative character of infinite aggregates; it is a property 
of methods, not of quantities, and expreses merely a pecu- 
liar system of laws and principles logically working in 
and upon finite magnitudes. From this point of view in- 
finity cannot be regarded as a kind of quantity, but rather 
as the type of structure of certain quantities ; it does not 
pass the "limits of our possible experience" as if it were 
an expression for something "we never could find on sea 
or land." It is one of the constructive laws of our normal 

1 G. Cantor, "Mitteilungen zur Lehre vom Transfiniten" (Zeitschrift fiir 
Philos. und philosoph. Kritik, Vol. 91, pp. 81 ff. Comp. Vol. 88, pp. 224 f). 
Couturat, De I'infinie mathematique , pp. x, 213-256; 488-563. Royce, The World 
and the Individual, Vol. II, pp. 554 ff. Spaulding, Defense of Analysis (New 
Realism). H. Lanz, "The Problems of Immortality" (in Russian language, 
Logos, 1913). Gavronsky, Das Urtheil der Realitat (Dissert., Marburg). 
Cohen, Logik der reinen Erkenntniss, pp. 102 ff. The actual character of in- 
finitely small elements has been mathematically established in Veronese's 
Grundlagen der Geometric von mehreren Dimensionen (transl. from the Ital- 
ian). Methodological character of infinity without acceptance of its actuality 
is emphasized by Brown, Intelligence and Mathematics (Creative Intelligence). 


experience, perfectly incorporated within every finite object. 
If two parallel lines do not cross each other in some in- 
finitely distant point, the geometrical structure of our tri- 
angles, circles and the like will be different. This mys- 
terious "point" has an influence upon finite geometrical 
forms which is somehow manifested in their inner rela- 
tions. But is it the "point" that makes the relations what 
they are? Why not invert our presumption? Why not 
suppose the structure of finite relations to be prior, in- 
finity being a result of them ? 

If we can discover all the methodological principles 
that have to do with infinity, and investigate the reflection 
of "endlessness" into the world of finite magnitudes, we 
shall be led to the conclusion that infinity is only an aspect 
of our normal experience, a property of finite things ; that 
the infiniteness of "space" is nothing but a character of 
"single spaces," the infinity of series only a property of 
certain magnitudes. Mathematically however every "prop- 
erty" is an expression of some constructive method. Ac- 
cordingly the old question as to whether infinity is a cate- 
gory of the qualitative or the quantitative sort, appears 
unexpectedly in a new light: it seems to be prior to both 
sorts, being a complex of methods rather than a quale or 
even quantum. Those peculiar "qualities" which belong 
as much to the spatial point as to the instant of time, as 
much to the sum total of algebraic numbers as to every 
general concept in its infinite integrating function, lose 
thus their metaphysical mystery. A point without deter- 
mined "position" has no peculiar "quale" ; taken abstractly 
it is pure nonsense. This mystical "quale" properly belongs 
to a point only in so far as it is a point of a curve. It is a 
moment in the continuous change of direction, expressed 
in the methodical exactitude of a derivative function, not 
a mysterious "part" of space without extension. For math- 
ematically infinity is always connected with exactly deter- 


mined methods of operation, in principle different from 
addition or division, even in their indefiniteness. This 
difference in the methods of operation makes every instance 
of mathematical infinity actual in spite of the impossibility 
of its production by any arbitrary long process of addition 
or division. The method of integrals, for instance, per- 
fectly achieves a task which the ordinary methods of addi- 
tion and division can never fulfil : it leads us to apparent 
"qualitative" new results, sometimes to new kinds and 
unexpected generalizations of number. 

The matter in question has often been discussed in 
mathematical and philosophical literature; but it may be 
of interest to follow the development of the methodical 
meaning of infinity as well in the deepest metaphysical 
speculations of antiquity as in the exactest mathematical 
achievements of our own epoch. We shall find, then, that 
this aspect, consciously or unconsciously, is predominant 
in every "case" and every "kind" of infinity. Thus will 
become clearer and clearer that positive moment, implied 
in the earliest unmethodical negations of finiteness, and the 
"dark" quality as well as the unintelligible "endlessness" 
of the infinite will be seen to be but concentrated expres- 
sions for certain methods of operation involved. This 
point of view may, possibly, remove the usual distrust and 
disgust of mathematicians for the "actual infinite." 

Qualitative infinity. The infinite is not "not-finite." 
From the first historical use of the term by Anaximander, 
the cbieiQOV purports to be a positive principle for the ex- 
planation of all single and separate "quales," being far 
from an equivalent for pure nothingness or endlessness. 
As an (XQX 1 ! r first principle of being, to obteiQOV is "in- 
finite in a positive sense because it expresses a belief in and 
a demand for a "different nature" (etepav Tivd qwaiv) 
required for the genesis and derivation of "beings" (ovra) 
a kind of primitive generating eteQov (ETEQOV TI TCDV 


atoixeicov). To be principle is essential for the cbteipov; 
it is nothing but principle or basis (imoxei[Aevov) and has 
no meaning apart from its "consequences," innate or implicit 
in it. 2 The infinitum is possible and intelligible only in its 
relation to finite objects, in its logical activity as construc- 
tive and productive principle of finite results. It is prior to 
everything, because TO dopiaiov JIQ!V oQiafrrjvai, 3 and it can- 
not be constructed by the successive addition or condensa- 
tion of all things (netapoMi ifjg flA,T]g) because its nature 
is positive, simple and indivisible. 4 

These vague speculations of the earliest Greek philos- 
ophy do little more than mark out the field for later anal- 
ysis. Nevertheless they clearly indicate the primary phase 
of the problem, in which the finite being begins to look 
for its origin beyond itself in infinitum. The non-finite, 
that which is to explain the finites, defines itself as the 
problem of "in-finite." The dim historical previsions, con- 
cealed in this definition, soon reveal their positive purport. 
Aristotle that scholastic lover of subtle and sterile dis- 
tinctions in our present problem brought out a discrim- 
ination of great importance. He set up two different con- 
cepts of infinity which might have been of a great histor- 
ical influence and systematic fruitfulness. In his Meta- 
physics we meet with the clear distinction between the po- 
tential (to Swdfiei dbieiQov) and the actual infinity (evepyei*? 
cbieiQov) . The potential infinite persistently remains within 
the confines of finite processes and means nothing but the 
possibility of continuing these processes indefinitely. It 
remains in the methodical power of the measure, in the 

2 ' AfJ-aprdvet otv t rr\v fih G\ijt> diro<t>a.iv6fjicvo9 t rb 81 iroiovv airiov avaipuv r& 

ykp Aircipov otdlv &\\o ten*. Anaximander Milesius (Neuhaeuser, p. 6). 

Comp. Simplicius, Phys., p. 32, ft : ivoixras yap TOJ evavTi6Tt)rat tv TJ inroKei^v^ 
dirclpy. Therefor the Aireipov being a different nature, it is not apart from 
reality. These sentences of Anaximander may be the first indication of the 
latter metaphysical speculations of Fichte and Schelling, according to which 
doctrine the "principle" without appearance is nothing; it appears necessarily 
and exists only in its manifestation in the world of finites; comp. the author's 
"Fichte and his Doctrine of the Absolute" in Russian). 

8 Aristotle, Met. I, 8, p. 989. * Neuhaeuser, Anaximander Milesius, p. 44. 


field of its logical activity ; it is adjusted for measurement 
and adapted to its "being gone through/' but cannot be 
"gone through" because of the absence of the end. 5 This 
kind of infinity is only possible as a finite variable quan- 
tity in process of augmentation or diminution, something 
remaining always "beyond." 6 This purely negative con- 
cept of endlessness, unintelligible and contradictory as it 
is, has been generally acknowledged by mathematicians 
and is still current in that branch of science. The other 
logical type or variant of infinity given by Aristotle is 
without mathematical import or value and was meant to 
satisfy the purely logical interest in the notion of ovaia. 
This 8VEQYei<? ofoteiQov (infinitum actu) is apparently the 
historical source of the "qualitative infinite" an infinite 
transcending the problem, the function and the methods of 
measurement, and as remote from any implication of process 
as melody is inaccessible for sight. This kind of infinity 
being beyond the concept of measure is thus without "ex- 
tension"; it has no "middle," no "above," no "below"; 7 it 
does not consist of "parts" and is in the strict sense in- 
divisible. 8 We must give over enumeration if we want to 
grasp infinity in actu ; it is impossible to understand or to 
construct it in terms of continued recurrence of finite ele- 
ments; in a word actuality marks in this primitive stage 
the creation of a new quality, the elevation of the mind to 
an entirely different level expressible only in terms of 
"ideality." Historically the meaning of ideality is con- 
nected inseparably with infinity 9 because to consider any 
fragment of reality under the aspect of ideality means to 
consider it as an instance of universal conformity to law. 
"Ideality" is the explanation of infinity in actu, or the re- 
sulting "quale" of infinity. 10 

This new qualification has been for many centuries the 

8 Aristotle, Met., *, 10. Aristotle, Phys., 7, 6. 7 Aristotle, Phys., % 5. 
Aristotle, Met, *, 10. Comp. Schelling, Bruno, S. W. t I, 4, pp. 342 ff. 
Hegel, Logik, S. W., Ill, pp. 165, 171 ff. 


main subject of philosophical reflection. In terms of in- 
finity Plotinus defines his overtemporal realm of creative 
intelligence, where every "part" possesses the same "power" 
as the whole. 11 In the same terms Spinoza constructs his 
concept of substance, by which the must have meant to 
express neither more nor less than the logical inevitability 
of all the laws of nature. 12 In medieval literature also 
we meet with a very instructive instance of the qualitative 
infinity. I mean the doctrine of eternity. Thus Anselm 
constructs his concept of God in terms of "eternal truth" 
by the method of time-negation; 13 and this eternity is no 
potential or repetitive infinity of time. It transcends all 
lapse of time; it is an "indivisible unity" beyond time, 14 
tota sibi praesens. This is the original source from which 
the modern concept of Geltung or Ideality has been derived. 
And what is of more importance, Anselm in his explanation 
of "over-temporality" goes further perhaps than Bolzano, 
Husserl, or even Bradley. According to his doctrine, the 
irrelevance to time limits not only produces a peculiar qual- 
ity but is caused by negation and suspension of all the 
methodical means used for the explanation of temporal 
reality. The positive ground for this new quality is dis- 
covered in the conformity to a new law. 16 which has found 
its positive expression and justification in the laws of Logic. 
Thus the definition of infinity as "quale" reveals its 
positive value when applied to the problems of pure logic. 

11 Plotinus, Enneades, III, 8, 8 ; VI, 9, 6. Comp. Henry Lanz, "Speculative 
Transcendentalism in Plotinus" (printed in Russian in the Journal of Ministry 
of National Education, 1914, I, 2. 

12 Comp. Wenzel, Die Weltanschauung Spinozas. 

13 Sancti Anselmi opera omnia (Patrologiae cursus completus T., 159), 
Monologium, pp. 160, 198 ff; Proslogion, pp. 235, 237, 239; Dialogus de veri- 
tate, p. 479. 

14 Anselm, Proslogion, p. 237. /#,/., p. 238. 

18 Anselm, Monologium, p. 175: "Procul dubio summa substantia, quae 
nulla loci vel temporis continentia cingitur, nulla eorum lege constringitur" 
Comp. ibid., p. 166: "Ita uno modo, una consider atione est, quicquid est essen- 
tialiter." Gpmp. ibid., 184-185. Thus according to Anselm's conception the 
essentia or idea is not apart from reality but a certain "consideration" of it, 
the result of the methodical application of certain laws. 


Every logical content, every proposition in its value and 
relative truth can be regarded as an instance of infinity, 
because it marks the abandonment of the primitive attitude 
of enumerating the single cases a turning from the sheer 
pluralism of sense-perception to the universality of method 
established first in Plato's "idea." The result was a dif- 
ferent kind of logical operation, absorbing in the process 
of deduction all the possible cases in infinitum, instead of 
their enumeration in indefinitum. The infinity implied in 
every logical concept is "actual" not because all its single 
cases have been enumerated, but because enumeration is 
no longer significant or serviceable. In this sense "actual" 
infinity is simply the expression of a generality implied 
and employed in all use of "general concepts." It is no 
inherent or peculiar quality of "ideas" enabling us to apply 
to them our deductive, dialectical or transcendental meth- 
ods ; on the contrary by our methods we fashion our "ideas" 
into a logical form and adaptability in which they have 
for us the semblance of "transcendent entities." 

Our modern logic is a positive system of methods, laws 
and categories which has grown out of these metaphysical 
speculations concerning eternal ideas, substances, God, ab- 
soluta and the like. It is an historical outcome of the simple 
resolve to consider the separate cases not in their plurality 
but in their systematic totality. So considered, they in- 
evitably stand revealed as infinite logical complexes. Their 
being instances of a qualitative infinity is nothing but the 
expression of what they are as instances of a methodical 
(in a large sense deductive) thinking, and the peculiar 
quality of logical concepts, expressed in their eternality, 
overtemporality and so on, is nothing but a peculiar kind of 
operation with such complexes which justifies them and 
gives them a definite meaning. They have no existence 
for us until our methods of dealing with our world have 
made them seem to exist. Whereupon we say metaphys- 


ically, "they exist in no space or time," "they have but an 
intentional being." The peculiar property or power of 
logical complexes to embrace an infinity of single cases 
compels no recognition of a mysterious realm of truths or 
ideas, beyond reality. It is a natural consequence of our 
methodological emphasis upon the significant proportions 
and relations of the finite cases ( "The essence is immanent 
to the appearance," 17 "objectivity is created by conscious- 
ness," "the mind prescribes its law to nature"). 

Critics of the potential infinity. The usual explanation 
of infinity in mathematics consists in the assertion that the 
true infinite is nothing but a symbol expressing the possi- 
bility of continued counting or measurement in a word 
"potential" infinity. 

We may urge against this "subjective" principle of 
explanation the general objection, that our process of count- 
ing does not belong to the objective value or logical purport 
of any mathematical relations, it can explain nothing, it 
can prove nothing with regard to them: it is absolutely 
irrelevant to their logical constitution or value, and can 
play no part in their mathematical establishment. The 
relations which govern in this operation, as executed by 
our mind, are psychological or epistemological relations 
which can have nothing to do with arithmetic or with the 
theory of aggregates. The constructive principle or method 
of arithmetic excludes by its essential purport all influence 
of consciousness so that what is impossible for conscious- 
ness may be quite possible in principle. This elimination 

17 The "essence" by Spinoza perhaps the most important instance of the 
qualitative infinity is based on the same methodological ground; to regard 
anything in the essence, as a modus of substance, means to regard it sub specie 
aeternitatis, as a moment in the deductive^ development of the system; every- 
thing is "substance" in so far as it is an instance of "method," i. e., in so far 
as it has truth (sub specie veritatis) and can be proved. The "essence" does 
not point out a different thing provided with special qualities, side by side with 
its real appearance, but the essential relation within the appearance itself, its 
conformity to the immanent law, its ability of being proved, its position in the 
system of deduction. 


of consciousness belongs in fact to the logical intention of 
all theory as such and is of the essence of all reasoning. 18 
This general proposition has an application to our pres- 
ent discussion. To base the concept of infinity on the 
ground of mental possibilities or processes means the same 
as to construct it without any ground, because the recur- 
rence to the process as such has no logical value ; the whole 
reasoning represents a very simple example of quaternio 
terminorum. What properly plays a part in the construc- 
tive definition of infinity is not the process as such (as exe- 
cuted in a finite time), but the inner methodical principle 
of it ; 19 the process itself is going on according to this prin- 
ciple, changing no element or item of its logical content or 
axiomatical formulation. It would be absolutely mean- 
ingless to say : the principle does not define the totality of 
a certain series, because we are unable to stop in our 
process (quaternio terminorum}. On the contrary: we 
cannot rest in our process because the principle does not 
permit us to rest, because it gives no guidance or indica- 
tion as to a particular point of absolute rest. The relation 
must be reversed: it is the logical nature of infiniteness 
which gives our processes of counting or measuring in- 
definitely large or small, not contrariwise. Thus the in- 
finitum potentiate may be called groundless infinity; the 
process of its construction is based on a well-known logical 

18 The general position here indicated has been elsewhere worked out by 
the author. Comp. "Das Problem der Gegenstandlichkeit in der modernen 
Logik" (Erganzungsheft d. Kantstudien, No. 26, 1912) ; "Fichte und der 
transcendentale Wahrheitsbegriff." It has also been developed in certain writ- 
ings of the author in the Russian language (in "Logos" and "Problems of Phi- 
losophy and Psychology"). 

19 From this point of view may be profitably discussed a very old doubt 
of the sceptics, that for the purpose to know the infinite "we" must have an 
infinite capacity, and since we do not have any, we are unable to know anything 

about infinity. Pascal says, for example: " il ne faut pas moins de capacite 

pour aller jusqu'au neant que jusqu'au tout; il la faut infinie pour Tun et 
1'autre." (Pensees, I, p. 82. Nouvelle ed. par Brunschvicg) . But as we have 
seen, any of our "capacity" does not belong and does not have any logical in- 
fluence upon the content known; therefore we don't need to have an infinite 


On the other hand, the mathematical possibility of set- 
ting up a limitation in counting ("to construct the concept 
of number") is dependent upon a long series of special, 
and only for that purpose inevitable, pre-suppositions, 
which shall axiomatically define the meaning of the end. 
After the infinite aggregates had been mathematically 
defined by means of equivalence between part and whole, 
a long series of presuppositions was required to construct 
the finite numbers. The principles of enumeration, estab- 
lished in Dedekind's system of arithmetical axioms by 
means of "similar representation" and the concept of 
"chain," are similarly limitations added to Cantor's "axio- 
matic." Every aggregate of elements may be a "number" 
not by itself, but only in so far as a certain principle of 
representation is used; the same aggregate might be or- 
dered by some other principle in a different way, which 
does not define the fundamental laws of finite arithmetic. 20 
Thus the system of axioms which define the transfinite 
aggregates is prior to the system which defines the finite 
numbers (in metaphysical language: "finite things are 
limitations of infinite," doQiatov JTQIV oQiafrfjvai) ; that is 
to say: the actual infinite is presupposed by the potential 

Infinity of Series. If the subjective ability to continue 
a certain kind of operation in indefinitum does not belong 
to the constructive value of infinity, ,then what is the 
meaning of this peculiar term? It has to be determined 
without any reference to subjectivity otherwise it would 
have no meaning at all. Let us start with the considera- 
tion of infinite series. 

We may express the approximate value of ji in decimal 

* = 3.14159-... 

mind for the purpose to grasp the infinity in actu. The same might be said 
against Kant's doctrine. 

20 Dedekind, Was sind und was sollen die Zahlen? p. 37. 


It is plain there is no sense in speaking forthwith about 
the whole decimal series in this expression, simply because 
the terms of the series are not represented by it. The equa- 
tion gives no enunciation of what numbers are to be united 
into a whole ; however long we may continue the enumera- 
tion of decimal terms, the value of Ji still remains under the 
curse of the undeveloped "potentiality." Nevertheless, ji 
has an exact geometrical value, being a symbolic expression 
of a certain type of relation which cannot be expressed 
by any other value. 21 Otherwise, every decimal in the above 
series not only can be but objectively is determined 
whether we compute it or not by a certain method of 
operation, each of them is a result of exactly denned pro- 
portions and relations between the finite numbers. The 
theorem of Taylor supplied the foundation upon which 
have been based different methods for estimation of the 
value of JT. Suppose we have carried out the calculation of 
jt until we have reached the /O7th decimal; we ask: are 
the 7o8th or icooth decimals objectively undetermined? 
Would they be "created" in the process of our further cal- 
culation and begin to be only in that moment when we 
know their value? However it may be with the question 
of the dependence or independence of being upon conscious- 
ness, it is evident enough that the logical value of a certain 
mathematical proposition does not begin to "exist" with 
our temporal act of knowing it; all the roots of a certain 
algebraic equation of nth degree, for example, have their 
mathematical "existence," i. e., they are perfectly deter- 
mined, in spite of the fact that we are forever unable to 
know them. How much more right then we have to con- 
clude that every decimal in the objective value of ji is 
determined by a certain type of preserial relations (theo- 

21 Comp. Couturat, De I'infinie mathematique, pp. 216-217 : "En admettant 
que le symbole m/0 n'ait pas de sens numerique, il ne laisse pas d'en avoir un 
parfaitement intelligible en geometric-: car ce qui est absurde ^ou illegitime au 
point de vue du nombre pur ne Test plus au point de vue geometrique." Comp. 
pp.257; 213-256; 488-503. 


rem of "middle worth") ; and we are able to continue our 
calculation indefinitely only because every term whether 
we actually know it or not is objectively determined. Not 
in the process, but in the method of this determination our 
series becomes infinite. We should have no right to speak 
of the infinity (not even the potential infinity) of our series 
were there no law generating all the terms of the series. 
Therefore the working principle and real essence of in- 
finiteness in our present case is represented by this gen- 
erating law which renders it actual. Mathematically the 
infinite series may be regarded as given in its totality ("the 
series defines an infinite number") 22 only when its "general 
term" is given, because the constructive law is then ex- 
pressed immediately in the form of series : 

= _+_j 

4 1 3 ' 5 7 ~2n-l~ 

Of course the infinity in this case would be meaningless 
if we tried to construct it by the successive addition of the 
terms ; because this addition can never be fulfilled and the 
series does not mean anything else but the virtual deter- 
mination of "every" term by a certain law; and the in- 
definiteness of series is nothing but a reflex of the actual 
infinity of law, being a negative expression of its positive 
character. Thus the infinity, being an instrument or meth- 
odical concept rather than one of process, is free of every 
continuation; it cannot be constructed by the methodical 
means of continuation, because the process as such is ir- 
relevant and does not belong to the purport of infinity; 
it is rather an expression of the structure of certain proc- 
esses than a concrete process by itself. 

The reproach that we are unable to accomplish the 
measurement of a circle whose diameter is equal to one, 
does not prove the impossibility of such a circle ; its circum- 

22 This terminus : infinite number is introduced by Dingier to denominate 
every mathematical expression, containing infinite chain of operations and 
united by a certain and expressible law. 


ference possesses its exactly determined value in the con- 
structive law of JT; this transcendent value is not approxi- 
mately but exactly determined by this law, expressed by 
its "general term" or more deeply by Taylor's general 
formula. We don't need to estimate all the terms for the 
purpose of determination of series, which is sufficiently 
determined independently upon the estimation of all ap- 
proximative value in the series. 23 It is absolutely wrong 
to suppose that the mathematical determination is possible 
only by the arithmetical calculus; it can be afforded also 
by the simple indication of the constructive law. The arith- 
metical determination represents only a particular case of 
this general rule, every "number" is but a symbolic ex- 
pression of a certain "type of order") ; it is not a self- 
contained entity separated from the concrete reality but 
rather a peculiar way of bringing order into the concrete 
world of experience, a method of operation. The mathe- 
matical "existence" of the various kinds of numbers sig- 
nifies only the possibility of determining magnitudes by 
their constructive law ; "existence" means nothing but de- 
terminateness of whatever sort. The number 2 is not less 
determined when not defined by the constructive serial law 
(general term) 

than by its arithmetical definition : 

2 + 1-1 

Therefore the number 2, may be an "infinite number" as 
well as JT; the difference is only a formal one, the deter- 
mination of irrational number by infinite series may be 
used as their definition. This is impossible in reference 
to the rationals only, because it would be an apparent circle 

23 Comp. Euler, Vollst'dndige Anleitung zur Algebra, Ges. Werke, Vol. I, 
pp. 50-51. He says: "One cannot say, that V12 is in itself undetermined, but 
from what has been just said it follows only that V12 cannot be expressed by 
fractions, nevertheless it necessarily has a determined value." 


in definition as may be seen from the equation given above. 
Returning to our previous example, JT is sufficiently dis- 
tinguished from every other value by the simple character 
of its constructive law and can be used as a well-defined 
complex of numerical relations ; 24 its value is an actual one, 
and we have the right to regard it as actual only because it 
can be expressed in the terms of series having on infinite 
law. Thus infinity is rather a property of law than of series 
as such. 

As to the character of the constructive law in general, 
another limitation has to be made. It is evident that our 
reasoning has no application to the divergent series. Of 
course, the law of a divergent series may be actual too, but 
it is meaningless to call it constructive, because it does 
not construct anything. The infiniteness in this case loses 
its purpose and that may be so important as to lose ground. 
For infiniteness is completely expressed only in and by the 
fulfilment of a certain task; where no determinate task is 
set, no fulfilment is possible. This might have made the 
concept of "limit" of such a great logical importance. But, 
from the logical point of view the limit is a statement of 
problem rather than a solution of it; the "existence" of 
limit is proved by the constructive law of series, not con- 
trariwise, and the peculiar "jump" made by our mind in 
transition to the limit remains still unexplained and un- 
intelligible if the methodical sense of actual infinity is dis- 
regarded. The infinite constructive law leads us to a de- 
terminate, mathematically positive result, i. e., it justifies 
the establishment of limit only when the series satisfies the 
conditions of convergence; that is to say: "the infinitum 
is possible and intelligible only in its relation to finite mag- 
nitudes, in its logical activity as constructing and pro- 

24 Every "infinite number," like *, may be regarded as an instance of such 
a "whole" which contains more than all its "parts"; because every "part" or 
"cut" of the series is a rational number (according to the definition) and the 
"whole" leaves the limits of rationality in principle, breaking the methodical 
law of it. 


ducing the finite result" (metaphysically: "to be principle 
is essential for the cbieiQOV," "das Prinzip erscheint noth- 

The following important conclusions may be derived 
from the analysis of series given above: (i) Infinity has 
its logical basis in the constructive law (positive) which 
makes the series endless (negative). (2) The possibility 
of continuing a certain process indefinitely is nothing but 
a reflex of the objective activity of certain laws (not every 
methodical law gives this possibility). (3) The purport 
of infinity is justified only if it gives and implies a method 
for the genetic creation of the finite (conditions of con- 
vergence). (4) The qualitative moment in the logical ex- 
plication of infinity turns out to be the methodical efficiency 
and defines itself more precisely as the logical activity of 
a certain type of laws. 

The infinitely large (transfinite} numbers. 26 We are 
brought to the same conclusions by the consideration of 
transfinite numbers. What did Cantor mean by his "actual 
infinity" ? 

If we compare the whole lot of algebraic numbers with 
the series of integers, no conclusions can be immediately 
derived as to the quantitative difference between the two 
assemblages; there is no sense in speaking of the totality 
of an indefinite fraction, in default of a method for its con- 
struction. To Cantor chiefly is due the credit of preparing 
the way for the methodical comparison and mathematical 
treatment of such indefinitely large multitudes. Instead 
of classifying "numbers" by themselves he classifies the 
roots of all the algebraic equations, and in doing so he 
makes it possible to insert them in a proper order in which 
every equation finds its "enumerable" place in accordance 

25 This paragraph I suppose to be in agreement with Pr. Brown in his 
remarkable article: "Intelligence and Mathematics" (Creative Intelligence) in 
which is emphasized the methodical conception of transfinite numbers. But I 
cannot agree with the author concerning the potential character of this type of 


with its "height"; the classification of real roots follows 
immeditely and of itself because every equation has a fin- 
ite number of roots which may be disposed in a proper order 
in accordance with their magnitudes. By this simple 
method of disposition he was able to coordinate all roots 
and consequently all algebraic numbers to the series of 
integers ; obviously in the process of this coordination, not 
one root remains without a "number." 26 This method of 
"univocal coordination" first opens to us the logical possi- 
bility of applying the concept of "whole" to such indefinite 
aggregates, "wholeness" (infinity) signifying nothing but 
the unrestricted action of a certain law of coordination 
within certain limits. The aggregate of all the algebraic 
numbers can be regarded as a "whole" (transfinite num- 
ber) only because it can be arranged in the same way as 
the series of integers is arranged] this prior constructive 
principle makes both classes of numbers equivalent, in spite 
of their indefiniteness rendering them of the same "class" 
and endowing them with the same "power." Every dif- 
ferent "power," i. e., every aleph, means a different way 
or arrangement rather than a new (larger) quantity; by 
the general method of "covering" (Belegung) we are able 
to produce new and newer kinds of infinity, i. e., ever new 
ways of arrangement. Thus here also infinity is perfectly 
imprisoned in the finite magnitudes and expresses nothing 
but a peculiar method of organization of our usual ex- 

The mysterious equivalence between "whole" and "part" 
loses its paradoxical character if we consider the situation 
from this methodical point of view. It does not express 
equivalence in quantis, but only an equivalence in methodis. 
The whole lot of algebraic numbers quantitatively is the 
same aggregate as the whole lot of integers, but differ- 

26 Cantor, "Ueber eine Eigenschaft aller realen algebraischen Zahlen (Jour- 
nal fur reine und angew. Mathematik, Vol. 77, pp. 258-268). 


ently arranged; the "addition" of new terms does not 
change anything in this arrangement, which methodically 
remains the same, i. e., does not increase it at all, just as 
the designation of new officials does not increase the popu- 
lation. Cantor categorically distinguishes the "logical 
function" by which the transfinite numbers are established 
and proved, from the method of successive addition of 
terms. 27 The transfinite number, consequently, does not 
"consist" of its parts, because it is not constructed by 
regular addition. To take away a proper part from a 
certain transfinite aggregate does not change anything in 
it, because the part has never been added. 

The infinitely small. The usual protest of mathema- 
ticians against the actual character of infinitely small ele- 
ments has its ground in the tendency to understand it in 
terms of extensive magnitudes, i. e., infinitely small parts. 
Of course under such an aspect the concept of the differ- 
ential becomes impossible and even contradictory. But 
still the infinitely small may be regarded as actual from 
the standpoint of such categories as lie beyond the com- 
petency of the primitive opposition between part and whole ; 
this opposition may be irrelevant in the process of its logical 
construction. For differentiation is not division, and the 
mathematical procedure of this operation has no resem- 
blance to the process of division. It is logically impossible 
to establish the concept of an indivisible part. 28 

The task of differentiation according to Leibniz is not 
to find infinitely small parts; the differentiation has to do 
with laws, i. e., functions, instead of with extensive mag- 
nitudes. If the constructive law of a certain line is given, 
we determine by differentiation, not a "point," but the 
direction of the tangent in this point; if a certain law 

27 Cantor: Grundlage einer allgemeinen Mannigfaltigkeitslehre, No. 11. 

28 Leibniz, Mat. Ill, 524: "Etsi enim concedam, nullam esse portionem 
materiae quae non actu sit secta, non tamen ideo devenitur ad elementa in- 
sectabilia aut ad minores portiones, imo nee ad infinite parvas." 


of movement is given, differentiation determines the veloc- 
ity at every moment of this process. Thus differentiation 
is not an algebraic action with extensive magnitudes but 
a way of dealing with laws or functions as such: when a 
certain law is given, differentiation permits us to determine 
the action of this law at every moment and for every ele- 
ment, i. e., to find the derivative function. On the contrary, 
if the derivative function is given, i. e., the action of a cer- 
tain law at every moment is known, we are able by the 
inverse operation of integration to determine the law itself 
(the equation of a certain curve for instance), i. e., to find 
the original function (data lege declivitatum curvae, posse 
describere curvam). Within this operation the curve is 
regarded not as an aggregate of points, not as what it 
"consists of," but as a continuous change of direction; in 
the same way we are to conceive movement not as a product 
of "rests" but as a continuous change of velocity. The 
well-known paradox of Zeno is a simple case of fallacy; 
from the fact that in the o of time a point traverses no 
space, nothing follows as to the point's velocity. The ex- 
pression o/o is arithmetically undetermined and undeter- 
minable; but Zeno fallaciously ascribes to this point a de- 
termined velocity rest being a peculiar case of velocity, 
where v = o. 

The differential does not exist as a part of the integral ; 
under the aspect of part and whole (arithmetically) it is 
a pure nothingness; it has a meaning only as an instrument 
for certain operations with magnitudes, not with numbers. 
From this numerical point of view o is an expression for 
the simple negation, or absence of being: o/o here has 
no sense and must be regarded as an absolutely undeter- 
mined form, precluding all mathematical treatment. In 
the series of magnitudes the zeroes do not exist at all; here 
the concept of zero must be supplanted by the concept of 
"moment" which always conserves its specific qualitative 


character. A point in space, an instant of time and a 
moment in a movement are qualitatively distinguished in 
spite of the absence of any quantitative element in them. 
But the concept of this peculiar quality again is a statement 
of the problem rather than a solution of it; the quality has 
no mathematical expression and cannot be used in the 
process of calculation. What may be regarded as con- 
served is not the quality but an exactly determinable rela- 
tion which is active in every moment of the process. In 
this sense the point of a circle is different from the point 
on a parabola, because each keeps the direction continually 
produced by all other points of its "class" ; every element of 
a curve implies the law of its curvature; every moment 
of the movement continuously keeps the law of its velocity. 
Therefore the point, in so far as it is an element in the 
continuous change of direction, is not a simple null, but 
such a null as logically to imply the law of the whole line, 
i. e., the "infinitely small element" of "differential." 29 This 
infinitely small element has a meaning only in reference 
to a corresponding magnitude, determined in its whole 
character by a determinate formula or law (interventu 
infiniti finitum deter minatur) . 30 Another account of the 
infinitely small is possible. According to Leibniz's prin- 
ciples the differential has no positive meaning in itself; it 
seems to be only a symbolical expression of what is logically 
tctive behind it in the methodical meaning of the derivative 
function (dx:dy). z * Is it possible to ascribe any positive 
value to dx independently of dy? Veronese tries to solve 
this problem geometrically. He defines the infinitely small 
"segment" of the order m as follows : "If a number in rela- 
tion to another number is infinitely large, then this second 
number in relation to the first may be called infinitely 

29 Leibniz, Opera Mathem., IV, 218 : "Interea infinite parva concipimus non 
ut nihila simpliciter, sed ut nihila respectiva. .. .id est ut evanescentia quidem 
in nihilum, retinentia tamen characterem ejus quod evanescet." 

80 Ibid., VII r 53. 81 Comp. also Euler, De calculo integral*, I, 2. 


small." 82 In a special theorem he emphasizes the actual 
character of elements so defined, exactly distinguishing 
them from the "indefinitely small" elements : the latter still 
remain in the process of diminution and belong to the 
series of finite magnitudes ; but it would be meaningless to 
seek the infinitely small segments in the series. 38 Bernoulli 
already believed the actual existence of infinitely small 
elements: "Sic omnes termini hujus progressionis, %, %, 
%, KG,. . . . actu existunt, ergo existit infinitesimus . . . .si 
decem sunt termini existit utique decimus, si centum sunt 
termini, existit utique centesimus. . .ergo si numero infinito 
sunt termini, existit infinitesimus." But Bernoulli still seems 
to believe that the terminus infinitesimus is given in the series 
itself ; of course, were this true, Veronese says, the concept 
of the infinitely small would involve a contradiction, be- 
cause all the terms of this series according to the definition 
are finite. But it is logically possible to regard the series 
as defining a certain element beyond itself, which does not 
belong to the class of numbers given in the series, being 
always smaller than every term of it; and nevertheless 
this element may have some exactly determined and de- 
finable properties. In a certain circle of problems the as- 
sumption of such element may even be inevitable. Suppose 
we hypothetically accept the assumption of such a system, 
where "every finite segment, variable as to length and be- 
coming indefinitely small, contains an element, which is 
different from its terminal points"; in the first place this 
presupposition is logically possible and implies the defini- 
tion of infinitely small elements given above ; in the second 
place it is obvious that certain systems (for instance the 
system of the spatial points) satisfy this hypothetically 
accepted condition. 

From what has just been said it seems to follow that 

32 Veronese, Grundsuge der Geometric von mehreren Dimensions, p. 116. 
tU, p. 141. 


the infinitely small may have mathematical existence by 
itself. But still it remains true that all the determinations 
ascribed to this element are, properly speaking, of a deriv- 
ative nature. What Veronese might have had in mind is 
only a convenient way of expressing certain properties and 
proportions in a certain class of systems called continuous. 
He explains himself clearly in this way. 34 If the distance 
between the two foci of the ellipse remains only indefinitely 
small, without any suggestion of an element of a different 
order transcending the potential series of such indefinitely 
small distances, the circle might never be considered as a 
particular case of ellipse. The "actual existence" of an 
infinitely small distance in this case means nothing but the 
possibility of passing from the formula given for the ellipse 
to that for the circle. The "actual existence" has here 
no meaning beyond the methodical value of certain opera- 
tions; and this methodical value of the "infinitely small" 
element consists in what it is doing in the system, rather 
than in what it is. The correlation between the finite dis- 
tance and the infinitely small element defined by the process 
of its continuous determination, is no relation between 
quantities, but in our present case, the relation of affinity 
between two different laws (circle ellipse). Their "truth" 
consists in what stands behind their formal definition, in 
the methodological back-ground of their "existence." Still 
in terms of our present example, we may say that the point 
(as infinitely small distance) can be regarded as a "part" 
of the line only because a certain class of analytic forms 
(circles) can be regarded as a "part" of another more gen- 
eral class of forms (ellipses). It is obvious that the prob- 
lem here again harks back to the problem of qualitative in- 

Resume. From what has been said it follows that in- 
finity in all the cases of its application has a purely method- 

"Ibid., p. 144. 


ical value. It is not a "thing in itself/' not something ready 
given and self-existent independent from science ; it is not a 
"thing" of whatever sort ; it is a method, rather a method- 
ical aspect of reality than reality itself. I don't want to 
allege that it is a pure product of our mind, unless we 
understand this term "mind" in a purely logical sense, as 
a system of methodical presuppositions of science, action 
or art. Then and only then, in this exactly restricted sense 
of "our mind," it may be logically created by it, i. e., every 
instance of infinity may be and, as a matter of fact, is a 
result of certain presuppositions. The reproach of arti- 
ficiality does not affect our position in any way; in this 
broad and vague sense everything may be called artificial ; 
I don't see any reason why any finite magnitude or any 
limited field of experience is less artificial than a transfinite 
number. We are too much inclined to forget, that a long 
period first of biological adaptation and then of logical and 
mathematical reasoning were required to perceive the limits 
of the real objects and to conceive the meaning of the 
"end." It is an old truth that all the boundaries in this 
world are artificial, i. e., they are based upon a long system 
of presuppositions. But since these presuppositions are not 
artificial at all, since they have their meaning and purpose, 
the result of their logical activity loses its artificial char- 
acter also. Thus to persist in the thesis that everything in 
our world of experience is limited, is in itself a logical lim- 
itedness: It must be considered as a modern positivistic 
extreme, as a reaction against the metaphysical exaggera- 
tion of the value of infinity. The opposition of finite and 
infinite is not a contraposition of the different realms or 
worlds separated from each other ; it is only a cooperation 
of two different methods one of which is quite as justified 
as the other. 




REASON'S eye is calm and steady, 
Gazing ever straight ahead, 
Seeing clearly every object 
In its level vision spread. 
But Imagination cries: "Look upward! 
Here are wondrous things to see ! 
Leave your sober, steady plodding, 
Trust my wings and fly with me." 
Reason answers : "I will follow 
Throughout all your fairy land, 
But forget not, pretty maiden, 
I shall always hold your hand." 
Then the sprite Imagination 
Guides him to the Ivory Door, 
Lets him see the deeper meaning 
Of his slowly gathered lore. 
Never master had a servant 
Who could give him such delight, 
But 'tis well that Reason watch her, 
See her safely home at night. 

The scholar struggles slowly 
Through the records of the past, 
Sifting, balancing, rejecting, 


Pondering o'er their meaning vast. 
Suddenly Imagination 
Breaks from Reason's curbing rein 
As the lightning leaps from heaven, 
Flashing through the startled brain 
Swiftly vivid pictures, blending 
In one truth the scattered train 
Of the facts which toil unending 
Strove to reconcile in vain. 

He who walks beside the river 
Hears its vexed and sullen roar, 
Sees it sweeping swiftly onward, 
Sees a fact and nothing more. 
He who views it from the mountain 
Sees a gleaming silver rod, 
Silent, motionless, completed, 
Like the changeless truth of God. 

There's a pathway up the mountain, 

Steep, laborious, and slow, 

Lighted only by the witch-fire 

Of Imagination's glow. 

That lone path which thought has traveled 

Since the Reason's earliest youth, 

Struggling upward toward the cloud-cap 

That still veils the Greater Truth. 

Not for fame and not for riches 

The explorer scales these heights, 

But for the exhilaration 

Of revealing hidden lights. 

There's no joy for human nature 

Like the mind's exultant thrill 

When the new-born thought leaps living, 

Bringing that ecstatic chill 


Which has in it more than nature, 
Holds the heart and brain in thrall, 
Makes us wonder, spite of reason 
If we're not immortals all. 

When Galileo saw the lamp 

Swing slowly to and fro, 

A light leaped up within him, 

'Twas Imagination's glow. 

His reason fed and fanned it 

Till its radiance burned away 

A dozen dogmas of that church 

In which he came to pray. 

When Newton saw the apple fall 

Imagination gleamed. 

With all his hoarded learning 

He never yet had dreamed 

Of what that searchlight showed him 

Which his reason gripped and steered 

Through vast sidereal spaces 

Where worlds on worlds are veered. 

When the thinker meets the barrier 

Of the "Ultimate First Cause," 

Reason fails him, for the problem 

Seems transcending Reason's laws. 

Then Imagination murmurs, 

"Set me free and I will tell 

All that Reason cannot show you, 

All the truths of heaven and hell." 

When the seeker, worn and weary, 

Meets no answer to his quest, 

Finds his Reason baffled, beaten, 

Helpless at his great behest, 

Yearns to know what mortal knows not- 


That which follows after death, 
Then Imagination whispers, 
"Lean on me, for I am Faith." 

But if once Imagination 
Is set free from Reason's hand 
She assumes a thousand figures, 
For they're all at her command. 
Now an angel in the brothel, 
Now a devil at the shrine, 
She endows each human error 
With an origin divine. 
She has led Utopian dreamers 
Into many a grave mistake, 
And inspired the grim fanatic 
To burn Reason at the stake. 
Like the "Genius of the Bottle" 
In the oriental tale, 
She's a servant true and mighty 
Till the magic word shall fail, 
Then she becomes the Master, 
Oft a tyrant and a curse, 
Leading blinded Reason captive, 
Speeding on from bad to worse, 
Till at last the frenzied dreamer 
Thinks he hears the voice of God 
In his wild Imagination, 
Uncontrolled by Reason's rod. 

All the palsying superstitions 
That in ignorant minds find place, 
All the cruel, false "religions" 
That have cursed the human race, 
All the torments and the furies 
That have harried every land 


Are Imagination's children 

When released from Reason's Hand. 

Yet the greatest truths discovered 
Own Imagination's sway, 
She the seeress, she the wakener, 
Lights the torch for Reason's way. 
All of poetry and music, 
All the beauty and the grace 
Of the arts that help to sweeten 
And uplift the human race 
Are Imagination's children, 
Owning Reason as their Sire, 
Sane and splendid, looking upward 
With the soul's divine desire, 
Yet they are the true half-brothers 
Of that deadly bastard spawn 
Which has kept the shadow lingering 
O'er the promise of the dawn. 



FROM Sun-begotten sires of earliest life, 
We draw our being, stronger through their strife. 
They fought their way from formless germ to man, 
With "climbing instinct," following nature's plan 
The plan, however planned that life shall rise. 
The "Right" of Nature lives, the "Wrong" still dies, 
Not individual, but of the race. 
The greatest man leaves no enduring trace 
Save in the building, strengthening of the power 
From which the coming man derives a dower 
Of added strength and upward striving will, 
That cumulates through generations still. 
Not power of wealth or rank, but that of thought, 
Which lives and grows forever and has wrought 
All that has lifted life from brute to man 
Since first the gleam of reason's light began. 
Thought moves forever on in peace or wrath 
Though blood of retribution stain its path. 

Science, with searchlight of unbiased will, 

Through dust of dream and dogma peering still, 

Strikes to the solid rock of Nature's youth 

And says with confidence: "Here rests the truth; 

This earth was once impossible of life, 

Now with life's varied forms the earth is rife." 

The necessary sequence checks the breath. 


By unknown forces Life was born from Death ; 
By natural law, to chemist still unknown, 
Man has evolved from inorganic stone. 
Strange confirmation of primeval thought 
From dust of earth the Gods mankind have wrought. 

But whence is this that lifts us far above 

The dawn of life, this power of thought and love? 

This upward striving, this "divine desire," 

This restless star-ideal, ever higher? 

The mind that through the tiny cells of brain 

Can weigh the universe, and call again 

The wisdom of all ages to its side, 

The heart that still with patience can abide 

The scorn of men for higher love of man, 

The souls creative, lifting us to scan 

The half-veiled beauty which we dimly see 

In those rare hours that seem from earth set free 

Was this potential infinite alone 

In that first germ that lived from lifeless stone ? 

Or was there influx of a mighty soul, 

In-forming, lifting toward a rising goal 

Through each new form infusing greater strength 

And greater self-dependence, till at length 

The soul of conqueror Man, still incomplete, 

Sees all the powers of nature at its feet ? 

Yet life evolved from inorganic stone, 
How matters little, so the fact be known. 
Then was the power to live before the life, 
'Twas in the stone itself through all the strife 
Of world-formations; in the glowing mold 
Of lifeless suns, in sunless realms of cold. 
From unbeginning past we reach to-day ; 
To endless future lies our upward way. 


In that eternity from whence we came 
Lives still the potence of the higher aim, 
The concepts Good and Beautiful and True 
Forever widen to man's widening view. 
There is no absolute, no perfect whole. 
Perfection means stagnation, growth is soul. 
The mountain tops that genius may attain 
Rise ever higher from the grovelling plain, 
But o'er their loftiest crags still loom afar 
Unending peaks beyond the utmost star. 
The immortal past is parcel of our life, 
It breathes into our souls the upward strife. 
The scientists, the poets and the seers, 
The best and wisest of the bygone years, 
Point ever upward from the heights they won, 
And cry: "Beyond! Above! Tis but begun !" 

Perhaps correlative to high desire 

The Universal Soul's undying fire, 

The Growth-Law which is God, informs us still. 

Unrecognized, dream-felt, it molds the will; 

It beckons ever to remoter goal, 

The all-embracing Mind, the Super-Soul. 



"*HE year 1917 is not only the four-hundredth anni- 
JL versary of the birth of the Reformation, but also the 
two-hundredth of the birth of Winckelmann, the founder of 
scientific archeology and the father of modern art criticism. 
There is more of similarity in the work of Luther and 
Winckelmann, if both are judged by the influence which 
they wrought on posterity, than appears at first sight. 
While the one brought a complete change into the attitude 
of men's minds toward religion, teaching that an inde- 
pendent judgment is the inalienable right of every re- 
ligious man, the other effected no less complete a change 
in the world of esthetics, by overthrowing the false taste 
in art and wrong conception of classical learning which 
obtained throughout Europe in his day, and by laying the 
foundations of a wholly new science. 

In reading the biography of Winckelmann by Karl 
Justi 1 one feels that he. is in the presence not only of one 
of the greatest scholars, but one of the greatest of men. 
His greatness as a scholar is indubitably attested by the 
scientific work which he left behind him, as well as by the 
influence which he exerted not only over his immediate 
contemporaries, but over the whole world of learning and 
culture since; his greatness as a man is no less clearly dis- 
cernible in the infinite capacity which he possessed for 

1 Winckelmann, sein Leben. seine Werke und seine Zeitgenossen. 3 vols. 
Leipsic, 1865-72. 2d ed. 1898. 


overcoming the almost insuperable difficulties of his early 
career until he reached his life's ambition. Nor was he 
only concerned with books and monuments, but with men, 
constantly seeking the help and inspiration of true friends, 
since he believed that friendship was the greatest of human 
virtues. For one born and schooled in adversity in an age 
and in an environment whose ideals were out of harmony 
with his very nature ; for one who not only lacked the means 
to properly prosecute his studies, but the inspiration of con- 
temporary science and art; for one who had never seen a 
genuine monument of ancient art until he had passed his 
thirtieth year; for such a one to have raised himself by 
sheer ability and industry to the highest place in European 
scholarship and to have been the means of completely 
reversing the attitude of his day toward art all this dis- 
closes greatness of a rare order. For Winckelmann was 
not one of those fortunate mortals who are born in the lap 
of luxury, whose genius is slowly but easily unfolded 
throughout a long life and at the end crowned with great 
rewards; on the contrary he was of lowly birth and only 
with incredible difficulty accomplished his life work, and 
then was suddenly cut off by an appalling calamity after 
having barely passed his fiftieth year. His brief life was 
one of great contrasts in which the shadows and lights were 
about equally balanced his journey to Rome in his thirty- 
eighth year dividing it into two distinct parts. It was 
the contrast of want and competence, of removal from 
the rudest environment to association with the world's best 
collections of art and intercourse with the greatest per- 
sonalities of Italy and Europe, of being the teacher of 
recalcitrant village school children to becoming the pre- 
ceptor of Europe and posterity. It is surely a life story 
well worthy our study and emulation. 

To understand the character and significance of the 
change in the esthetic view-point wrought by Winckel- 


mann's influence, we must understand how it was that 
Italian taste with its prejudice in favor of Latin studies 
over Greek and indifference to the latter had dominated 
Europe for two hundred years before his time. 

The study of Greek, which had been so enthusiastically 
begun by the Greek immigrants and Italian humanists in 
the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as well as the great 
period of Italian art beginning with 1300 and so intimately 
connected with the commercial prosperity of the free states 
of central and northern Italy, began to languish after the 
first quarter of the sixteenth century. This decline was 
primarily due to the loss of political independence in these 
states during the disasters which befell them in the time of 
Michelangelo. Italy, the fairest and richest of countries, 
then became the prey of foreign armies and could no 
longer under the leadership of the popes present a united 
front against invasion. An army of Charles V sacked the 
eternal city in 1527 and took Pope Clement prisoner; two 
years later Florence was besieged by another imperial 
army and by its surrender in 1530 lost its liberty, and by 
the reestablishment of the Medici in 1532 as hereditary 
dukes of the capital and later of all Tuscany, Italian free- 
dom was doomed. From then on until 1796 over two 
hundred and fifty years Italy had no political history of 
its own: its annals were filled with records of dynastic 
changes and redistributions of territories, and it became 
the theater of desolating wars fought for the most part 
by the armies of contending foreign princes and for am- 
bitions in which the Italian people had no share. The 
brilliant aristocracies which had long cultivated humanistic 
studies were ruined and the predominant influence of the 
reformed Catholic Church looked with no friendly eye on 
the worship of pagan ideals, an attitude which was bound 
to divert Italy from classical learning. The Greek elements 
and influences in Roman art and letters had been so thor- 


oughly assimilated at the end of antiquity by the Imperial 
Age of Rome that there were few Italians in the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries who were aware of their 
independent Greek origin. The Mohammedans were hold- 
ing Greek lands in thraldom, and no one visited them to 
bring back a truer knowledge to counteract the growing 
tendency to treat Roman studies as superior to Greek and 
to look upon them as original. Patriotism, moreover, nat- 
urally led Italian scholars to exalt their own country as 
the center of the old Empire of Rome. They knew Italy's 
debt to the Romans in both literature and art and enthu- 
siastically imitated them without any critical idea that the 
Romans had largely copied the Greeks. The fact that 
Italian was descended from the language of Rome made it 
easy for them to unlock the treasures of Latin literature. 
Thus, generally speaking, it had come to be customary in 
Italy to ignore Greek studies and to prefer everything 
Roman, and this way of looking at things spread over all 
Europe until finally, in Winckelmann's century, Italian 
taste, founded upon a wholly mistaken historical concep- 
tion, ruled all cultivated nations. The great Italian human- 
ist, Julius Csesar Scaliger, long before had declaimed 
against Greek in favor of Latin, and his book of Latin 
verses the Poetice which appeared posthumously in 
1561, remained a standard of taste down into the eighteenth 
century. Though the French historian de Thou exalted 
him above all scholars ancient and modern for his learning 
and talent, we know that he only looked upon classical 
studies as an agreable relaxation from the severer pur- 
suits of life. In fact his chief amusement in later years 
was the composition of Latin verses. Thus within a cen- 
tury of Byzantium's fall, the Renaissance had already be- 
gun to take on in Italy its characteristic Roman bias. 

In France the sixteenth-century Greek tradition inaug- 
urated by Stephanus and Turnebus soon began to wane. 


The French schools were deserted by Joseph Scaliger in 
J S93 by Casaubon in 1610 and by Salmasius in 1631. By 
the end of the seventeenth century classical enthusiasm 
had yielded to a taste which found pleasure in ridiculing 
Greek studies with characteristic Gallic wit. The age of 
Louis XIV, the founder in 1663 of the Academy of In- 
scriptions was marked in the years 1687-92 by the literary 
quarrel between Perrault and Boileau over the respective 
literary merits of the ancients and moderns. In his Paral- 
lele des anciens et des modernes, Perrault, after a super- 
ficial survey of ancient and modern literature, gave the 
palm to the moderns. He declaimed not so much against 
the genius of the ancients as against their technique, the 
impersonal and objective character of their art. He com- 
pared Homer's immortal lays with the ballads of the Pari- 
sian street singers and looked upon his heroes as of lower 
stature than the dandies of Versailles, more like their 
landed thralls. His book was the signal to a controversy 
which passed over to England and again, in the days of 
Antoine Houdart de la Motte and Fenelon, returned to the 
land of its origin. La Motte, like his master, was an enemy 
of Greek and measured Homer by the rules of romantic 
French poetry. Voltaire, the dates of whose long life in- 
cluded those of Winckelmann's, expressed his sorrow that 
"the most beautiful language of the world" was neglected 
in France in his day. While praising the truth to nature 
and the descriptive power of Homer, he nevertheless found 
many unhewn stones in his marble palace and was content 
to set the second, fourth and sixth books of the Aeneid 
above not only the Iliad but all Greek poetry. He thought 
that the Jerusalem Delivered was at least the equal of the 
Iliad. He admired the dignity of Demosthenes, but looked 
upon the immortal Aristophanes as a mere farceur. Plato 
did not please him because he made virtue too attractive 
and vice too repulsive ; in his opinion Cicero was the equal 


of any Greek thinker. Out of respect for his judgment of 
the Iliad we must remember that Voltaire also essayed to 
write an Epic, which, I fear, but few even of the professors 
of French to-day read with any pleasure. 

In England humanism had not yet recovered from the 
effects of the Civil War. There was no great name in 
classical scholarship until that of Richard Bentley, who 
was destined to become the greatest figure in the learned 
world of Europe during the first half of the eighteenth 
century. Sir William Temple, who knew no Greek, never- 
theless entered into the controversy begun across the chan- 
nel and championed the ancients with his Essay on Ancient 
and Modern Learning. A challenge to prolong the conflict 
was given by his statement that the best examples of Greek 
literature were the fables of ^sop and the letters of Phal- 
aris, which he looked upon as nearly contemporary. The 
challenge was first accepted by Wotton, who, in his Re- 
ne ctions upon Ancient and Modern Learning ( 1694) , calmly 
examined Sir William's reasoning. His friend Bentley 
told him that the fables of ^sop were not the work of 
^Esop at all and that the letters of Phalaris were a late 
forgery, the work, perhaps, of a sophist of the second cen- 
tury A. D. Temple's advertisement made a great demand 
for these worthless letters, and a young Oxford scholar 
named Boyle published an edition in 1695 A second edi- 
tion of Wotton's essay was followed in 1697 by Bentley 's 
famous Dissertation on ^Esop and Phalaris. Nothing can 
better show the real state of Greek studies in England at 
his time than the fact that for some time public opinion 
favored the enemies of Bentley; however, the second edi- 
tion of his Dissertation in 1699 marked a new epoch in 
English scholarship by heralding a new era of criticism. 
We have interesting hints of how Greek was neglected at 
Oxford at this time in Macaulay's Essay on Addison. While 
Addison had an intimate knowledge of the Latin poets 


and could write an excellent Latin style, his knowledge 
of Greek, though such as was deemed respectable at Oxford 
in his day, was evidently less than that which is carried 
away by many high school boys of to-day. An account 
of his Italian journey also shows how preponderating was 
his interest in things Roman. 

In Winckelmann's own land classical studies had fared 
but little better. Their systematic study inaugurated in 
the fifteenth century by Huysman and continued by the 
labors of the humanists Reuchlin, Melanchthon and Came- 
rarius had already begun to languish by the close of the 
sixteenth century. The leaders of the Protestant Reforma- 
tion, Luther, Melanchthon and Zwingli, were all classically 
trained men whose minds had been broadened and whose 
powers of expression had been increased by the study of 
the Latin and Greek classics. Most of the Latin schools 
of the sixteenth century were founded under the direction 
of Melanchthon, and his educational plan was taken over 
by the universities which he reorganized. In his Discourse 
on Reforming the Studies of Youth, which he, a youth of 
twenty-one years, delivered as his inaugural as the first 
professor of Greek at Wittenberg, Melanchthon expressed 
his determination to plead the cause of the classics against 
those who found them "more difficult than useful" and 
who maintained that "Greek was studied only by disordered 
intellects and that, too, for display." His appointment at 
Wittenberg marked an epoch in German university edu- 
cation; for under this praeceptor Germaniae Wittenberg 
became the school of the whole nation. In laying aside the 
old scholastic methods of instruction, he showed that he 
had caught the real spirit of the Renaissance and was 
fitted to be one of its greatest leaders. In lecturing on 
Homer he announced that he, "like Solomon, was seeking 
Tyrian brass and gems for the adornment of God's temple" 
and he also asserted that "by going to the sources we are 


led to Christ." But despite its glorious initial promise the 
Reformation was bound to react detrimentally on classical 
learning. Luther, though he began his work at Witten- 
berg with lectures on Aristotle's Physics and Dialectics, 
soon found his influence harmful to the new theology and 
came to look upon Aristotle as the personification of scho- 
lasticism, the great enemy of the Church. He, therefore, 
wished to banish the Ethics and Metaphysics entirely from 
the university curriculum and to retain only the Rhetoric, 
Poetic and Logic, because these works might help young 
men to preach and pray better. The whole Protestant 
principle in art, isolated by the cleavage from Italian in- 
fluences, was destined to cut Germany off from the ancient 
tradition of beauty and culture. The Thirty Years War 
in the following century had, like the Civil War in Eng- 
land, a disastrous effect upon every form of learning and 
culture. With the peace of Westphalia in 1648 neither art 
nor classical learning revived. The age of the giants of 
humanism had passed. After the death of Camerarius 
in 1574 there was not a name of importance in German 
classical scholarship for a hundred and fifty years until 
that of Johann Albert Fabricius (died 1736) is reached, and 
he is to be remembered mostly only for his great learning 
and industry, which won for him the title of the modern 
Didymus. The Flemish philologist Justus Lipsius had long 
before heralded the decay of Greek studies by his dictum 
that Greek was merely an ornament which for a scholar 
was not an indispensable possession. Latin continued to be 
taught in Germany and was still largely the medium of 
university instruction and the language of the learned 
world. Ancient literature, however, was regarded every- 
where as a barren field, quite superfluous to the scholar. 
In Winckelmann's boyhood Greek was nowhere seriously 
studied; what Greek was taught was mainly intended for 
students of divinity for the sake of the New Testament 


and the early Church Fathers that is, as the handmaid 
of theology. No Greek book of importance had been pub- 
lished for nearly a century and a half, from the time of 
Sylburg toward the end of the sixteenth century down 
to that of Ernesti, whose Memorabilia of Xenophon ap- 
peared in 1737. No Plato had appeared anywhere in 
Europe since 1602. No Greek text-books, except selec- 
tions, were to be had. Scientific archeology was yet un- 
known and scientific philology was yet to be created at 
Halle by Wolf at the end of the eighteenth century. 
Person's gibe that "the Germans in Greek were sadly 
to seek" was not without point. Only the seeds of the 
coming revival in Greek studies had been sown. Ges- 
ner, the older contemporary of Winckelmann, who was 
professor of eloquence at Gottingen for twenty-seven years 
until his death in 1761, was the first to re-introduce the 
best Greek classics into a German university, by publishing 
his Chrestomathia graeca in 1731 when Winckelmann was 
a boy of fourteen. This event really marked the advent of 
the new humanism by rekindling the national enthusiasm 
for ancient learning. It was Gesner's aim no longer merely 
to imitate the style of the Latin authors, but to understand 
the content of both Latin and Greek literature. Though 
himself a Latinist, he was the first to set a high value on 
Greek and the first to teach it in Germany and, therefore, 
may rightly be looked upon as the prophet of the Greek 
revival to be later instituted by Winckelmann, Lessing and 
Goethe. The revived classical tradition was carried for- 
ward by Ernesti, who, as professor of ancient literature 
at Leipsic from 1742, was the only official exponent of 
Greek in any German university in Winckelmann' s day; 
by Reiske, who combined a critical knowledge of Greek with 
an unrivalled acquaintance with Arabic; and by Heyne, 
who lectured as Gesner's successor at Gottingen for half 
a century until his death in 1812. Heyne possessed neither 


the enthusiasm nor the penetration of Winckelmann, nor 
the philosophical nor critical power of Lessing, but he sur- 
passed them both in accuracy and method. Johann Fried- 
rich Christ, the professor of history and poetry at Leipsic 
after 1754, urged his students not to confine their attention 
merely to the ancient languages, but to include ancient art, 
and consequently he may be regarded as the immediate 
forerunner of Winckelmann in archeology, as Gesner was 
of Wolf in philology. It is significant of the condition of 
classical study in Germany in Winckelmann's day that its 
leading exponents with the exception of Reiske were 
such men as the uncritical Latinists Gesner, Ernesti and 
Heyne. Many greater German philologists, like Ruhnken 
and Wyttenbach, had sought the more congenial atmos- 
phere of the Netherlands for their life-work, while others, 
like Reiske, had been compelled to go there for instruction. 
Joseph Scaliger, on leaving France at the end of the six- 
teenth century, had called Holland "the only corner of 
Europe"; classical scholarship there, which had extended 
from Erasmus to Grotius, was again flourishing in Winckel- 
mann's time under the influence of the great Hellenist 
Hemsterhuis, who had founded the only real school of 
Greek learning which had existed in Europe since the days 
of Scaliger and Casaubon. 

In the last half of the eighteenth century these preju- 
dices in favor of Latin studies over Greek were destined 
to be overthrown largely by the work of one man Jo- 
hann Joachim Winckelmann. Through his influence the 
older custom of looking upon the relics of antiquity on 
Italian soil as those exclusively of Roman civilization had 
to yield to the true origin of these things in Greece. In 
his first book, Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works 
in Painting and Sculpture? which appeared in 1755 just as 

2 The German title of this work is : Gedanken uber die Nachahmung der 
griechischen Werke in der Malerey und Bildhauerkunst. 2d ed., 1756. 


he was leaving Dresden for Rome, Winckelmann for the 
first time clearly disclosed the distinction between a Greek 
original of sculpture and painting and a Roman copy. In 
the next thirteen years down to his death his researches 
were destined to revolutionize the esthetic taste of Europe. 
His notion that there was an independent Greek art, from 
which Roman art was derived, was, strange as it may seem 
to us, a revelation to his contemporaries, who had uncrit- 
ically accepted the interpretations of art works which had 
been based on the early enthusiasm for Roman history and 
literature. He showed that the realistic Italian sculpture 
of the day, which was more interested in anatomical ac- 
curacy than in the expression of the beautiful, copied 
merely the decadent phase of Greek art and that all such 
dramatic effects were directly opposed to the simplicity 
and repose of even Roman imitations of Greek works. 
With the disclosure that Roman art was derivative there 
was involved a new conception of the general origin of 
everything else in Roman civilization ; for if Roman sculp- 
ture, painting and architecture were Greek, it followed 
that Roman literature and culture in general largely de- 
pended upon Greek. The change in viewpoint was to be 
fundamental and permanent; an entirely new inspiration 
was to come to Europe an inspiration only comparable 
with that of the Renaissance itself. The taste of the succeed- 
ing period became Hellenic rather than Roman. Everything 
Greek art, literature, history began to be studied. The 
resulting intensity and expansion of interest in things 
Greek we now call the Greek Revival, whose waning we 
are unfortunately fated to see in our own time. This 
revival, beginning even in the lifetime of Winckelmann, 
came to full fruition after his death in the last quarter of 
the eighteenth century and was destined to become the 
most prominent spiritual feature of later European his- 
tory. Lessing, by the publication of his famous essay 


Laocoon in 1766 a work chiefly inspired by Winckel- 
mann's ideas and studies helped the nascent movement 
by critically establishing the superiority of Homer and 
thereby lowering the prevailing literary taste inaugurated 
by the French critics. Goethe's transcendent genius raised 
it into the higher realm of poetry. But the foundation of 
it all is to be sought in Winckelmann. He can rightly be 
called not only the founder of a science for the principles 
which he laid down for antiquarian investigation have been 
followed since with ever increasing results but also the 
greatest connoisseur and teacher of the Beautiful. His 
influence was be no means confined to the world of scholar- 
ship. The manifestations of the revival were manifold 
and far-reaching. The new inspiration entered not only 
into the more spiritual structure of culture into the fine 
arts but also into politics and every-day life. Here I can 
only most briefly and generally indicate a few of the more 
prominent manifestations which resulted from the stim- 
ulus of his work. 

I have already spoken of the immediate effect of 
Winckelmann's influence on Lessing and Goethe. It was 
no less marked on all the Augustan writers of Germany, 
who owed their greatness to Winckelmann's disclosure of 
the Greek spirit. The new humanism soon, however, passed 
the boundaries of Germany and influenced all European 
letters. Travel to Greek lands began and a long line of 
English, German, French, Italian, Dutch and Scandinavian 
scholars studied the monuments on their native soil and 
wrote glowing accounts of their experiences, which immeas- 
urably enlarged the horizon of scholarship. The new im- 
pulse was phenomenal in its influence on architecture, 
sculpture and painting. The simplicity of form of Greek 
porticoes and temples caused them everywhere to be copied ; 
the theatrical and sentimental in sculpture yielded to Greek 
canons of restraint and dignity ; Greek simpicity was taken 


over into painting. In architecture Schinkel von Klenze and 
Semper appeared in Germany ; Vignon, HittorfT and Chal- 
grin in France; Soane, Inwood and Wilkins in England, 
and the architects of many famous Greek buildings in the 
older cities of the United States. In sculpture the Italian 
Canova and the Danish Thorwaldsen were followed by the 
German Dannecker and the English Gibson; in painting 
the French David, the contemporary of the Revolution 
and Napoleon, was the best exponent of the new style. 
Though in all forms of art the imitation of Greek subjects 
and forms proved ephemeral, the standards of taste taken 
from Greek art will always remain authoritative. Only 
after the first quarter of the nineteenth century did the 
imitation of Greek forms in all the branches of art yield 
to more independent styles, like the great Gothic revival 
in architecture, which reached its zenith about 1850, when 
practically every church built in Europe and America was 
Gothic. In music the subjects of the operas of Gluck re- 
flected the new spirit. Even in dress and furniture the 
same spirit was revealed: the short-waisted dress of the 
Revolutionary period, known as the Directoire in Europe 
and that of Martha Washington in our country, was merely 
an effort to recover Greek simplicity : furniture, even clocks, 
imitated Greek designs. In politics it is hard to overestimate 
the effect of the revival. The Revolutions in both America 
and France were certainly largely influenced by the account 
of republican institutions in Plutarch's Lives, the most pop- 
ular book of the day, while the Greek War of Independ- 
ence in the last century was due in great part to the sym- 
pathy of European scholars and statesmen and men like 
Byron, who were directly influenced by the sentiments 
awakened by the second Renaissance of Greek studies. 

To have furnished the inspiration and the stimulus for 
such a change in the spiritual history of the world is indeed 


an achievement of the highest order. As Walter Pater 3 
has said, the highest that can be said of any critical effort 
is that "it has given a new sense, that it has laid open 
a new organ"; and this honor he pays to Winckelmann. 
Hegel, in his Lectures on the Philosophy of Art, has also 
paid a tribute to the humble German scholar in these words : 
"Winckelmann, by his contemplation of the ideal works of 
the ancients received a sort of inspiration, through which 
he opened a new sense for the study of art. He is to be 
regarded as one of those who, in the sphere of art, have 
known how to initiate a new organ for the human spirit." 
Winckelmann was a man to whom art was both religion 
and fatherland ; when he wrote he thought not of Germany 
alone nor of his own time, but of all Europe and posterity. 
When one reflects on what he accomplished and the honor 
which he brought to his native land, one should not be 
surprised that his memory has been so highly esteemed in 
the past by his countrymen as to have amounted almost 
to Winckelmannolatry, a sort of cult in which he was re- 
garded as a spiritual superman, the patron saint of arche- 
ology and art criticism. A more reasonable appreciation 
of his merits is the custom now long obtaining in Rome 
and in many of the universities of Germany of repeatedly 
commemorating his natal day December ninth by the 
publication of contributions to the science which he founded. 
It is interesting to know something of the personality 
and life story of the man who wrought so great a change 
in men's outlook. Voltaire would hear nothing of the 
biographies of great writers, for he maintained that the 
life of a quiet scholar lay open in his works. This is 
largely true of the authors of scientific works, where facts 
and methods are the paramount interest and the personal- 
ity of the writers is secondary. But it is certainly not true 

3 See his essay on "Winckelmann," in his Studies in the Art and Poetry 
of the Renaissance, 1873. I have followed his translation of the passage from 


of poets, essayists nor of literary men in general, whose life 
work is more concerned with sentiment and emotion. It 
is for this reason that we are vastly more interested in the 
romantic lives of a Cellini or a Shelley than in the more 
prosaic ones of a Laplace or a Darwin. In the case of 
Winckelmann, the idea which was the soul of his life's 
activities was the very human one of beauty and it was 
through this alone that his personality has influenced suc- 
cessive generations of art lovers. In trying to express this 
idea he had to pass his early manhood in the uncongenial at- 
mosphere of the north, condemned to subsist by teaching 
rudiments to children; but he spent his nights in read- 
ing Homer and Sophocles, which fired his enthusiasm and 
finally drew him to the south. The fulfilment of his life's 
work was of such importance that Lessing, on hearing of 
his untimely death, could say that Winckelmann was the 
second writer to whom he gladly would have given some 
years of his own life meaning thereby that his life had 
been shortened by that catastrophe. 

Winckelmann was of very lowly origin, the only son 
of a poor cobbler of Stendal, a town in the ancient Prussian 
province of Brandenburg. The house in which he was 
born consisted of only one thatch-roofed room, which was 
used by the family as working, living and sleeping quarters. 
His father naturally wished his son to follow his trade and 
only with the greatest difficulty was persuaded to let the 
boy go to the town Latin school. Here he received his first 
instruction from the almost blind rector whose famulus 
he became, reading to him, walking with him and looking 
after his library. His childish imagination was impressed 
by the medieval appearance of his native town, by its an- 
cient gabled houses, lofty cathedral and massive city walls 
and gates, all of which aroused in him thus early a love 
of the historical and monumental. His boyhood was passed 
amid great poverty and trials which ever after left their 


mark on his melancholy disposition. Years later while 
viewing the Roman Forum in full emancipation of spirit 
he said: "One gets spoiled here; but God owed me this, 
for I suffered too much in my youth/' But he who was 
destined to interpret the charm and beauty of the spirit of 
Greece to his age, had first to serve an unhappy apprentice- 
ship in the rude intellectual life of Germany. There is no 
wonder that, as Pater says, after "passing out of that into 
the happy light of the antique, he had a sense of exhilara- 
tion almost physical/' 

The old rector, seeing the boy's studious nature, wanted 
him to enter the Church. Consequently it was necessary 
for him to go beyond the Latin school to prepare himself 
for the university. At sixteen we find him at the Cologne 
Gymnasium in Berlin. This was at that time under the 
direction of a Greek scholar of note, Christian Tobias 
Damm, the lexicographer of Homer and Pindar. Winckel- 
mann lived in his home as tutor to his children. He soon 
found, however, that he could get little instruction at the 
Gymnasium outside of Latin. The recent reform in Ger- 
man schools which had started in Halle under Francke 
paid little attention to Greek; everything was Latin, Ger- 
man and the positive sciences. Consequently it is no won- 
der that Winckelmann was more interested in the lectures 
given at the Academy of Arts and Sciences than in the 
work of the school. This naturally aroused the hostility 
of the rector, who showed his resentment by writing in the 
student register after Winckelmann's name the opinion 
that he was a homo vagus et inconstans, quite unaware 
on whose side the irony would eventually fall. However, 
it was not difficult for him to imbue the mind of his young 
pupil with the idea that Greek was superior to Latin and 
that Greek models must be imitated to raise the level of 
German culture. The imitation of Greek models in Art 


was destined to be the theme of the first work published 
by his most famous student. 

After three years Winckelmann left Berlin to enter the 
gymnasium of the Gray Cloister at Salzwedel, from which 
he entered the University of Halle with the intention of 
studying theology. The university at this time had about 
fifteen hundred students and a library of ten thousand 
volumes and was important in philosophy, theology and 
law. The Wolfian philosophy was then dominant there 
as at all German universities. Winckelmann studied phi- 
losophy and esthetics under the great Baumgarten, and he 
also studied Hebrew, mathematics, physics and law. Halle 
had no professor of Greek, but Schulze, a teacher of medi- 
cine and linguistics, admitted Winckelmann to his course 
on ancient coins. He got but little out of his theological 
studies except Hebrew; from his legal studies he re- 
ceived valuable lessons on the universality of history, a 
sense for outlining great epochs and an idea of clearness 
in exposition, lessons which stood him in good stead in later 
years. Where Goethe confessed the influence of Kant on 
his life, Winckelmann's study of philosophy led him to pro- 
test against all philosophers except Plato and Plato was 
excepted merely because of his redeeming literary style. 
He never received a degree at Halle nor wrote a disserta- 
tion, but contented himself with receiving in February 
1740 a certificate of membership in the theological class. 
For a half year longer he stayed at Halle in charge of the 
library of the university chancellor, where he spent most 
of his time reading Greek. He had arrived at the cer- 
tainty that he was in no wise fitted for a theological career. 
In after years he spoke disparagingly of his university 
education, maintaining that he was his own teacher. We 
would expect such an opinion from a poet, who receives 
little assistance from a formal education, but from a 
scholar, such as the historian of ancient art and the votary 


of the greatest intellectual tradition, we are surprised at 
such an admission. 

After spending a short time as tutor in a family at 
Osterburg, Winckelmann in 1741 entered Jena to study 
medicine. Here he soon found that he had as little aptitude 
for medicine as he had for theology; his private work of 
tutoring left him little leisure either for his new studies 
or for his beloved Greek. The next spring he left Jena 
and became tutor to the sons of a high Prussian official 
named Lamprecht living near Magdeburg. Here he met von 
Hansen, a former secretary of the Danish ambassador to 
Paris, whose library, rich in modern literatures, was hos- 
pitably thrown open to him. From these books the young 
tutor became acquainted with the French sceptical move- 
ment, especially with the Historical and Critical Dictionary 
of Pierre Bayle. After a year and a half Winckelmann 
received a call as con-rector and teacher of Hebrew, logic 
and geometry at the gymnasium at Seehausen. 

The five years which Winckelmann spent at Seehausen 
were the dreariest of his life. He always looked upon 
them in after years as a martyrdom. In one of his later 
letters we read: "I have enacted the schoolmaster with 
great fidelity and taught children with scabby heads their 
a b c's, while during this pastime I was ardently longing 
to attain to a knowledge of the beautiful and was repeating 
similes from Homer.... At that time I was constantly 
saying to myself what I still say at the present time : 

Te-dafti 8rj, xpa8iT], xal XWCEQOV aMo JTOT' EtA,T]g." 4 

No one in Seehausen could doubt his ability or skill as 
teacher ; but a man whose head was full of such lofty ideas 
must necessarily have presided over his classes in an in- 
different manner. His predecessor Boysen had been a 
veritable Orbilius and Winckelmann found his pupils de- 

4 From the Odyssey, Bk. 20, 1. 18 : "Endure, my heart ; yea, a baser thing 
thou once didst bear" (Butcher and Lang). 


ficient in taste and far more interested in facts than in 
sentiment. Boysen, who had become a preacher in Magde- 
burg, wrote that he could say without self-praise that he 
"had done incomparably more for literature and the sci- 
ences in the year and a half that he had acted as assistant 
rector than was done in five years by his successor/' After 
his day's work in the schoolroom, Winckelmann had to 
spend the early evening tutoring Lamprecht's son whom 
he had brought along with him, and he was only free to 
do his own reading after ten o'clock. He spent the greater 
part of the night reading Homer, Sophocles, Herodotus, 
Xenophon and Plato. He ordinarily retired at midnight 
but arose at four the next morning to read until six, when 
his school duties began again. It is said that for a whole 
year he never undressed to go to bed, but slept in his chair. 
He literally followed the poet's advice: 

"vos exemplaria graeca 
nocturna versate manu, versate diurna." 

Apart from his Greek authors he also read largely in 
modern literatures. He even found pleasure in Voltaire's 
artificial classicism; the subtle Frenchman, whose super- 
ficial taste Winckelmann was one day to supplant by the 
clear ring of the genuine ancient spirit, at least gave him 
a love for French letters, which contrasted with his con- 
tempt for German books. We must remember that Goethe 
was not yet and that there was nothing in German litera- 
ture which could have anticipated his Iphigenie. 

In teaching Greek Winckelmann had little in the way 
of texts. There were in Germany at this time only a few 
Italian and Dutch texts of the classics and about the only 
Greek books for class-room use were the selections of Borst 
and Gesner. Not satisfied with such djioajiaajxata Winckel- 
mann made handwritten copies of commentators and scho- 
liasts. Some of these manuscripts, beautifully written, are 
still in existence. He planned with a fellow teacher to 


publish a collection of classical authors and actually an- 
notated parts of Sophocles as well as Juvenal and Persius, 
which were never published. He was mercifully saved for 
something higher than the editing of text-books. 

In addition to his poverty he received only two hun- 
dred and fifty thalers a year overwork and school duties 
which he hated, Winckelmann also got into trouble at 
Seehausen with the rector. As assistant rector he was 
unable to hold chapel himself and so was obliged to listen 
to the preaching of his superior. Instead of listening to the 
service Winckelmann would read his Homer in church and 
was also untactful in expressing his contempt of his col- 
league's abilities. His remarks naturally reached the ears 
of the rector, who in retaliation denounced Winckelmann's 
knowledge of Latin. However there is a letter in existence 
whose Latinity at least is above reproach, in which years 
after Winckelmann expressed his contempt of his superior 
in language which would have done justice to Martial. 
Among other things he wrote : "I still remember the looks 
with which I was insulted by a man lighter than the shadow 
of a cork-tree, and, of all bipeds, the most worthy to be 
the wiper of Silenus, the most stupid of the gods." 5 In 
the year 1747 his unhappiness reached a climax: as the 
poet says, 

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies 
But in battalions." 

His school work oppressed him; he had little time for his 
own studies; his pupils were stupid; the attitude of the 
rector had become unbearable ; he became lonely and mel- 
ancholy, and his tiny income scarcely met his simple wants ; 
on top of all his mother, to whom he was passionately at- 
tached, died. He longed for a change, but did not know 

8 In a letter to Kleinow: " Haerent infixi pectore vultus, quibus nobis 

insultavit homo umbra suberis levior, et omnium bipedum dignissimus, qui 
Sileno, stupidissimo Deorum, a clunibus sit." (Translation of G.Henry Lodge 
Winckelmann' s History of Ancient Art, I, p. 12.) 


where to turn. He knew he was unfitted for the Church, 
for law or medicine; school teaching had become utterly 
loathsome to him . Only the literature of art pleased him, 
and he longed to leave Germany and visit the countries of 
the classical tradition. As he wrote at this time: "It is 
my misfortune that I was not born to great place, where 
I might have enjoyed cultivation and the opportunity of 
following my instinct and forming myself." But he was 
thirty years old and had not received as yet a single favor 
of fortune. In 1748 he wrote Count Biinau of Notheniz near 
Dresden the first German historian and the author of 
a History of the Holy Roman Empire "for a corner in 
his library." In his letter he hinted at his unhappy posi- 
tion "in a metaphysical age by which humane literature 
is trampled under foot," and continued: "Nowadays little 
value is set on Greek literature, to which I have devoted 
myself so far as I could when good books are scarce and 
expensive." Soon afterward we find him ensconced in 
Btinau's library of over forty thousand volumes, lodged 
and paid from fifty to eighty thalers a year. He had finally 
found congenial work. 

During the six years which he spent at Notheniz he 
made frequent visits to the collection of antiquities at Dres- 
den nearby. Hitherto he had only known the words of 
Greek poetry ; now for the first time he was in the presence 
of the visible remains of Greek culture. In Dresden he 
got acquainted with many artists, especially with Oeser, 
Goethe's frend and teacher, whose culture and knowledge 
of art were of great assistance to Winckelmann. Through 
Oeser's influence he finally moved to Dresden where he 
spent the year 1754-5 the most important and decisive 
in his life. Here in the Saxon capital he felt at home : for 
though born in Prussia, Winckelmann was no Prussian: 
his gentle nature rebelled against the Spartan military 
discipline and the police system of that despotic land, and 


he was fond of boasting that his fatherland was Saxony 
and that no drop of Prussian blood flowed in his veins. 

Dresden at this time was the most cultivated city of 
Germany. During the reign of the splendor-loving August 
the Strong (1694-1733) and that of his successor, the art 
virtuoso August III, the city had become greatly embel- 
lished and had reached a prominent place as a cradle of art. 
August the Strong had made the grand tour and had be- 
come captivated by the spirit of the reign of Louis XIV. 
On his return he had his architect Poppelmann begin the 
erection of the Zwinger, the original plan being to make 
this building the center of a grand architectural display. 
It recalls the palatial French edifices which had been built 
as monuments to glorify the reign of the Grand Monarch. 
The age of Louis had been fond of comparing itself with 
the Golden Age of Rome ; so the Zwinger was intended to 
embrace the most sumptuous features of Roman palaces, 
baths and pleasure buildings. The purpose of Rococo art, 
which we see in part worked out in this building, was to 
invest even the domestic life of princes with pomp and 
state, to show to the people the royal cabinet and private 
office. The Dresden opera and theater were also French ; 
sculpture, however, was here as elsewhere in Europe dom- 
inated by the Italian taste of Bernini. The collection of 
paintings had been founded in 1722, while that of sculpture, 
mostly formed from the Chigi and Albani collections of 
Rome, had started with the Brandenburg collection in 
1723. These were the only art collections of any import- 
ance in Germany. The Sistine Madonna had been brought 
to Dresden in 1753 just before Winckelmann left for Italy. 
The art treasures of the city were so rich that the sculptor 
Cavaceppi, the fellow traveler of Winckelmann on his last 
journey, could flatteringly say that Dresden might strive 
for first place with the Capitoline collection at Rome. A 
colony of foreign artists lived here, as also several native 


ones of note. In short, as Winckelmann said, "Dresden 
is becoming ever more the Athens of artists" a sentiment 
echoed some years later by Herder, who called Dresden 
the German Florence. The seven years which Winckel- 
mann spent in and near Dresden were indeed happy years. 
These were the years from the end of the War of the 
Austrian Succession to the outbreak of the Seven Years 
War in 1756 and were the most peaceful which Europe 
had seen for a long period. During these years, as Vol- 
taire says in his Le siecle de Louis XIV : "Industry bloomed 
from Petersburg to Cadiz ; the fine arts were everywhere 
in honor; all nations had intercourse with one another; 
Europe was like a big family which had become united 
after its troubled days/' Nowhere were the fruits of peace 
better to be enjoyed than in Dresden, which at this time 
had the most illustrious court in Europe. 

Winckelmann was already past his thirty-seventh year 
and the world as yet had seen no public proof of his ability 
and learning. He had begun to ask himself with Juvenal : 

"Semper ego auditor tantum?" 

In 1755, the year that he left Dresden forever, he pub- 
lished the first of the three great works by which he is re- 
membered, his Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works 
in Painting and Sculpture. This was followed immediately 
by a pretended attack and then by a defence of its prin- 
ciples. Winckelmann had studied the simplicity and repose 
of Raphael's great Madonna and found that the same ele- 
ments were also characteristic of Greek art. In this first 
book was the kernel of his fundamental view of art, words 
which were soon to be memorable in later essays and in his 
great History of Art: "One must imitate the Greeks and 
not nature only; for the Greeks knew the secret." This 
secret was that art should be characterized by "noble sim- 
plicity" and "calm grandeur." As sculpture was the chief 


product of Greek art, he discussed it most and showed 
why it was superior to modern sculpture, which was dom- 
inated by Bernini's theatrical taste and characterized by 
strange and uncustomary poses and treatment. The book, 
though full of obscurities, reached its purpose the direct 
appeal from the artificial classicism of the day to the 
study of the ancients. It was enthusiastically received; 
every one was amazed at the author's boldness in assailing 
the prevailing taste. Lessing got from it the inspiration 
for his Laocoon, the book which Macaulay said "filled 
him with wonder and despair," in which the author ana- 
lized the boundaries of poetry and the plastic arts, and 
enunciated the principle that each art was subject to very 
definite conditions and could only attain its end by limiting 
itself to its own function. Winckelmann in a few months 
was recognized as belonging to the first rank of German 
writers. It was the turning point in his life. Not only 
do misfortunes come in battalions, but also, even if more 
seldom, fortune's favor. By this book he achieved not only 
celebrity, but, best of all, the opportunity to go to Italy. 
His Dresden sojourn had filled him with an overwhelming 
desire to see Rome. For here in Dresden it had become 
clear to him that art was the main interest of his life and 
that Italy was the only place in which properly to continue 
its study. His success was all the sweeter because it was 
unexpected and in such contrast with his earlier years of 
struggle. From now on we have a different Winckelmann. 
His Lehrjahre are now over : art has become his religion 
and now that he has attained his freedom and maturity 
he appears to us, as Goethe said, "consummate, entire, 
complete in the ancient sense." 

As the Saxon court was Catholic the only road to 
favor at Dresden was through the Roman ecclesiastics. 
Back in 1751 Archinto, the Papal Nuncio at Dresden, 
had visited Notheniz and had suggested to Winckelmann, 


who had acted as his guide through the library, that Rome 
best suited his health and temperament. He had then 
held out to him the hope of a place in the Papal library and 
had told him how Cardinal Passionei, an ardent student of 
Greek, had been pleased with his beautiful Greek hand- 
writing and would be ready to play the Maecenas if only 
he would accede to the indispensable condition of joining 
the Roman Church. The bribe was finally accepted and 
Winckelmann, after a great deal of hesitation, became a 
Catholic in 1754. Goethe explains this conversion by plead- 
ing that Winckelmann was a pagan spirit to whom Chris- 
tianity was nothing. That Winckelmann had no intention 
of deception by the disguise is shown by the fact that he 
had a book by Voltaire in his pocket when searched at the 
Roman custom house, and that later during his residence 
in Rome he lived in constant fear of an inquisition. He 
gives his own version of the affair in a letter to a friend : 
"It is a love of knowledge, and that alone which can induce 
me to listen to the proposal made me." In 1760 he had an 
opportunity of holding a fat office in Vienna if he would 
only take the tonsure. At that time he answered : "I was 
born free and I will die free." Doubtless the fact that the 
Roman Church was in so many ways bound up with pagan 
grandeur had made this superficial change of heart easy. 
In any case his religious sentiments were all merged in 
those of art. As for his embracing Roman Catholicism 
he would have turned Mohammedan with equal ease if 
he could have gained thereby a good chance to study 
antique marbles. On reaching Rome he was mercifully 
excused from kissing the pontiff's foot, and Benedict XIV 
assured him of his continued favor. Dresden had proven 
to be the gateway to Italy. The Elector of Saxony, pleased 
with his book, promised him a pension of two hundred 
and fifty thaler s, and in September 1755 he started for 


For the next thirteen years of his life Winckelmann 
devoted himself entirely to the study of art and archeology. 
It was fortunate that he, like Goethe, had come to Italy in 
full maturity of mind. The effect of Rome on the poor 
German scholar was immense. Everything about the Eter- 
nal City pleased him its free artist life, its antiquities, 
libraries, language, climate and above all the spell of the 
past. Here there was no bureaucracy, no military, no 
police. Everything in the congenial atmosphere of the 
city with its Hellenic affinities made a truly artistic en- 
semble for him. From a long familiarity with ancient 
literature his mind had acquired an antique cast; when 
he reached the Niobe of nations and viewed its ruins and 
art treasures, he felt as if he belonged not to the present 
but to the past. He said in the fulness of his rapture: 
"All is nothing compared with Rome ! Formerly I thought 
I had thoroughly studied everything and behold, when I 
arrived here, I found I knew nothing." In a letter three 
years later to a friend in Dresden he says: "In Rome, 
I believe, is the university for all the world, and I have 
been purified and tried in it." He also felt that he was 
in a sense out of place, for he wrote: "I am one of those 
whom the Greeks called oi^ipia&elg I have come into the 
world and into Italy too late." He was pleased with the 
cordial reception which he received from the Cardinals 
Passionei and Albani; their democratic ways contrasted 
strangely with the hauteur of Germans of high position, 
for he was immediately invited to drive and walk with 
them on terms of the greatest intimacy. His life was one 
of the utmost simplicity; at first he lived in the artists' 
quarter; he never went to the theater nor the opera, but 
went early to bed where he slept undisturbed by the street 
noises which at this time were worse than in the days of 
Juvenal. His delicate constitution only allowed him the 
simplest fare generally only bread and wine, though he 


drank the latter neat like a German. After remaining four 
years in Rome Winckelmann lodged in the palace of Car- 
dinal Albani, living on his pension from the Saxon prince 
and another of about $120 from the cardinal. Four years 
later, in 1763, he was appointed to the high-sounding office 
of Commissario delta Antichitd della camera apostolica, 
with oversight over all the antiquities in and near Rome, 
at a salary of about $180, his pension from Dresden by 
then having been stopped. In the same year he was also 
given a clerkship in Hebrew in the Papal library at a 
salary of $50, a position which entailed practically no work, 
but confined him from eight to twelve hours a day. Thus 
his total income in Rome was never over $350, though this 
amount was enough in those days for a quiet scholar. 

At this time Rome was the center of classical studies. 
The collections of the Louvre, the Glyptothek and the Brit- 
ish Museum were not yet in existence. There was little 
of importance in Berlin or in any German city outside of 
Dresden. The sculptures of the Uffizi in Florence, mostly 
from the Roman Villa Medici, were not set up until the 
end of the century when also the Farnese collection was 
taken to Naples. In the latter city the finds from the buried 
towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum had not yet been made 
public. So Rome was the only place in which to properly 
study ancient art. It was the day before travels, excava- 
tions, reviews and books on art. The only cast collection 
in existence was the small one gathered in Rome by Raphael 
Mengs. It is doubtful if Lessing ever saw a copy of the Lao- 
coon when he wrote his famous essay. Bonn University 
was the first to have a collection of casts, which was made 
in the early part of the nineteenth century; now not only 
all the German universities, but many of those in the United 
States have them. Even in Rome there were no public 
museums. Only three of the five great Roman collections 
of the present day existed in Winckelmann's time those 


of the Villas Albani, Borghese and Ludovisi, and these 
were all under private ownership. The Medici collection 
was moved to Florence a little later ; the present Capitoline 
collection was originally in the Villa Albani and after its 
sale the present Villa Albani collection was begun; the 
present Vatican museum of antiquities, now the finest in 
the world, had as its beginning in Winckelmann's day the 
statues of the Belvedere collection, which had been begun in 
the sixteenth century by Pope Julius II and was named from 
the garden house in the Vatican grounds where they were 
exposed down to the beginning of the eighteenth century. 
Only a few, however, of the present masterpieces, like the 
Hercules Torso, the Apollo and the Laocoon, date their 
appearance in the Vatican from that period. The Museo 
Pio-Clementino was started at the end of the eighteenth 
century, while the Chiaramonti and the Braccio Nuovo had 
their beginnings in the nineteenth. 

It was in the year 1758 that Winckelmann made his 
first visit to Naples to visit the sculptures there and to view 
the recently opened excavations in the neighborhood. At 
Resina, on the site of Herculaneum, the theater had already 
been laid bare and at Pompeii a portion of the amphi- 
theater and the eastern end of the town had been excavated. 
He stayed in and around Naples for two months, enjoying 
everything he saw and did, even the eating of enormous 
cauliflowers and the drinking of Lacrima Christi. He 
also went on to the site of Paestum, which at that time 
was merely a malaria-stricken wilderness containing a few 
shepherds' huts. Here he saw the first Greek temples. 
Their existence until a short time before had been a secret 
even to artists and antiquaries. Macaulay, in describ- 
ing Addison's visit to these ruins at the end of the seven- 
teenth century, graphically writes : "Though situated within 
a few hours journey of a great capital where Salvator had 
not long before painted and where Vico was then lecturing, 


these noble ruins were as little known to Europe as the 
ruined cities overgrown by the forests of Yucatan." 
Winckelmann made in all three more visits to Naples in 
the years 1762, 1764 and 1767. It was in 1760 that the 
statue of Diana had been discovered inside a little temple 
at Pompeii, the first example of an ancient sulpture which 
retained traces of color. As the fruit of his second and 
third visits Winckelmann gave to the world in two letters 
the first authentic information about the excavations at 
Pompeii and Herculaneum. 6 During his last visit, he, like 
the elder Pliny, was able to witness a great eruption of 
Vesuvius. Accompanied by von Riedesel, he went to 
Portici, whence the party walked out over the ancient lava 
beds to the new and was compelled, in order to reach the 
crater's mouth, to pass over hot lava which scorched the 
soles of their shoes. He had also planned during his first 
journey south to make a tour of Calabria and Sicily. A 
journey to Southern Italy, however, was no easy task. 
The conditions of travel were barbarous; the roads were 
nearly impassable and were beset by theives and cutthroats. 
In the Kingdom of Naples one could only go on foot or 
on horseback and had to be accompanied from place to 
place by a soldier. If one had no servants and no letters 
of introduction to landed proprietors along the way, he 
had to put up with the food of an anchorite and to sleep 
on pallets no strangers to vermin. In a letter Winckel- 
mann recounts how his journey to Paestum in 1758 was 
filled with a hundred annoyances. Of the danger of brig- 
ands he says : "One must go with two pistols in his sack, 
two in his girdle, and with a good claymore at his side 
and a gun on his shoulder." Despite the ridiculous figure 
the poor scholar must have cut in such a panoply, he says 
he bought all these necessaries in Naples. The ignorance 

6 Sendschreiben von den herculanischen Entdeckungen (1762) and Nach- 
richt von den neuesten herculanischen Entdeckungen (1764). 


which prevailed among educated men of that day about 
Calabria is shown by Winckelmann's belief that there were 
ruined temples there. He only gave up his intention of 
visiting them when he learned from the English noble 
Brudnell, who had just returned from a journey along the 
coast as far as Taranto, that, outside the temple of Juno 
at Croton, there were no ruins to be seen. In his last 
journey to Naples he also again seriously had in mind 
a trip to Sicily to visit the Doric architectural ruins there. 
His enthusiasm had been fired by the descriptive letters 
written by Riedesel, who was the first scholar to make the 
island known to lovers of art. Goethe, years later when in 
Girgenti (1787), spoke of Riedesel's little volume, which 
he says he carried about with him "in his bosom like a 
breviary or talisman." At the beginning of 1760 Winckel- 
mann also seriously considered a trip to Greece with Lady 
Oxford. He then wrote: "Nothing in the world have I 
so ardently desired as this ; willingly would I allow one of 
my fingers to be cut off, indeed I would make myself a 
priest of Cybele, could I see that land." Again in 1768, 
the year of his death, he was invited to accompany von 
Riedesel to Greece. But he was destined never to see 
either Sicily or Greece. New vistas of travels and plans 
for work were constantly being opened up to his mind; 
the infinity of possibilities made him sadly reflect 

"Ach, das Leben ist am Ziele 
Und die Kunst noch kaum begonnen." 7 

During his first visit to Naples in 1758 Winckelmann 
had been recalled to Rome by the last illness of the Pope 
and immediately after his death went to Florence, which 
he described as "the most beautiful place I have ever seen 
and far superior to Naples," and as "the true cradle of the 
Italian art spirit." While here he studied the art treasures 
of the city and worked assiduously on a catalogue of the 

7 "Alas that life has reached its goal 
And art is scarce begun." 


great collection of gems owned by the Prussian Baron von 
Stosch, who resided there. He says that he never before 
had worked so hard ; for six months he only allowed him- 
self a half-hour's relaxation in the evening. He had to 
complete the catalogue in Rome the following year, where 
he could avail himself of the study of the gems in the Museo 
Kircheriano and of the advice of connoiseurs in that field. 
The work finally appeared in 1760 under the title Descrip- 
tions des pierres gravees du feu Baron de Stosch his first 
scientific work. It was while he was in Florence that his old 
friend Archinto, the secretary of Cardinal Albani, died, 
and he was summoned to Rome to become the librarian and 
companion of the aged prelate. It was after this that he 
wrote many essays on various phases of the subject of 
art and antiquities; he also carefully studied the descrip- 
tions of monuments in Pausanias and the conception of the 
Beautiful in Plato. Many of these minor writings like 
those on the Apollo Belvedere and on Grace in Works of 
Art and the study of The Capability of the Beautiful in 
Sculpture are among the most beautiful from his pen. 
But the results of all his studies and writings finally cul- 
minated in his greatest work Die Geschichte der Kunst des 
Altertums. It will be convenient at this point in recounting 
the chief events in Winckelmann's career to briefly bring 
together what relates to the origin and fate of this work 
and also of his last book the Monumenti antichi inediti. 

Winckelmann had had the plan of writing the History 
of Ancient Art in mind ever since his second year in Rome. 
He continually visited the treasures of the Belvedere to 
arouse his spirit, and from these visits grew his desire to 
write such a book. He looked upon all his preceding 
reading and essays as merely preparatory to this work, 
which for years robbed him of most of his time. He was 
long in doubt in what language such a history should be 
written. Cardinal Albani suggested Italian on the theory 


that dum vivis Romae, Romano vivito more. But Winckel- 
mann finally decided on his mother tongue. The first draft 
of the work had been sent to Dresden for publication in 
1758, but, in consequence of delay, it had been withdrawn 
the following year. This proved to be a fortunate circum- 
stance, for it allowed the author to recast it and to produce 
an almost entirely new work. This revision extended 
over the years 1758-61, and in 1762 he again looked about 
for a printer. The work finally appeared in Dresden in 
two volumes quarto in the year 1764 and was dedicated 
to Friedrich Christian, the Elector of Saxony, who had 
succeeded August III, Winckelmann's patron, the year 
before. The size of the edition made it impossible to bring 
out a new edition for some time, so that the author had 
to content himself with collecting emendations and addi- 
tions for a second work entitled Anmerkungen uber die 
Geschichte der Kunst, which appeared in 1767. Just before 
his death he had begun to recast the material for a second 
edition which was to appear in French ; but fate was against 
him. On his last journey he carried the manuscript for 
this edition with him, and the very last words that he 
penned while in Trieste, where he was murdered, were in 
reference to it. After his death the manuscript was sent 
to Vienna, where it was published with great negligence. 
From this publication came the Italian edition and another 
French translation. 

Winckelmann's History of Ancient Art is the earliest 
work in which the origin and development of sculpture 
and painting in Egypt, Phoenicia, Persia, Etruria, Greece 
and Rome is systematically presented in connection with 
the general progress of culture. Following the custom 
of French writers on art, he wrote an art history in gen- 
eral, but one of Greece in particular. He recognized that 
art was but one phase of the history of mankind, though 
it was the flower of national life and evolution. Not con- 


tent with merely presenting the beautiful monuments of 
art, he investigated the sources of beauty in Greece and 
the reason why Greek art still commands the world's ad- 
miration. In unfolding the theory of the Beautiful he 
finds that "the highest purpose and the central point of 
art" is beauty rather than instruction. This thought was 
to dominate artists, critics and poets for the next two gen- 
erations. Ideal beauty can only be attained when indi- 
vidual features are subordinated to the general scheme in 
the mind of the artist. The artist selects his theme from 
the natural world and combines it with his imagination, 
thereby creating an ideal type marked by the two charac- 
teristics of "noble simplicity" and "calm greatness" or 
"repose." All details, like muscles and veins, must not be 
allowed to impair the harmony and the proportions. He 
discerned for the first time what is now a commonplace 
of knowledge that "beauty has been esteemed by no people 
so highly as by the Greeks." The beauty of the youth of 
life was so extolled by the Greeks that Aristobulus in 
Xenophon's Symposium is made to say: "I swear by all 
the gods that I would not choose the power of the Persian 
king in preference to beauty." This Greek ideal of beauty 
is nowhere so preeminent as in sculpture, where it is 
especially associated with youth, for in youth more than 
in manhood the artist finds the causes of beauty," in unity, 
variety and harmony"; "the forms of beautiful youth re- 
semble the unity of the surface of the sea, which at a dis- 
tance appears smooth and still like a mirror, although it 
is constantly in movement with its heaving swell." 

In writing his History Winckelmann used everything 
monuments and books both ancient and modern. His 
own artistic sense, helped on by vast erudition and by a 
vigorous imagination, enabled him to make remarkably 
true suggestions about periods of Greek art where little 
real information then existed. He overthrew many of the 


older interpretations of monuments, which had been based 
on the false theory of the Roman origin of ancient art. 
Thus he found that the portrait busts in Italian collections 
were far too realistic to be Greek, too much out of har- 
mony with Greek ideality. He was the first to divide Greek 
art into epochs, indicating the sequence of styles corres- 
ponding to changes in society and politics. These divisions 
are still kept in our histories of art; the archaic style 
(dlterer Stil) ; the grand style (hoher Stil) of the age of 
Phidias, characterized by grandeur, beauty and truth to 
nature; the beautiful style (schoner Stil), beginning with 
Praxiteles and characterized by elegance and grace; and 
lastly the style of the imitators, when the old ideals of 
simplicity were lost and a pretentious and decadent taste 
came in. At the end of the work he devotes a few pages 
to Roman art, a period in which all originality had been 
lost and art was devoted to the repetition of earlier types. 
There was really no one in 1764 who was able to criti- 
cise adequately this work. The few who knew Greek 
literature knew nothing of the monuments and those in 
Rome who were acquainted with the latter knew little of 
Greek letters or history. The work was nothing short of 
a revelation to his contemporaries and it profoundly in- 
fluenced the best minds everywhere. It was praised by 
learned societies and scholars for its flowing style, its 
erudition, its sane judgments, its insight and its sense of 
beauty and proportion. It was soon recognized as a per- 
manent contribution to European science and belles lettres. 
Lessing received a copy while still at work on his Laocoon, 
and was unbounded in his praise ; the contemporary French 
sculptor Falconet said he had "read nothing better on the 
beautiful in art"; Diderot was more guarded, for while 
praising the author's enthusiasm, he felt the application 
of his ideas to sculpture was wrong, since he did not agree 
with Winckelmann's fundamental notion of art, that it 


should imitate the antique rather than nature. The Italian 
architect Visconti and the Frenchman Quatremere de 
Quincy years later found nothing but praise for it ; Madame 
de Stae'l, in her Allemagne, said that it was Winckelmann 
who "brought about an entire revolution in the manner 
of considering the arts" and that he had "banished from 
the fine arts of Europe the mixture of ancient and modern 
taste" and that "no one before him had united such exact 
and profound observation with admiration so animated." 8 
Winckelmann's Roman contemporaries, like Raphael 
Mengs, were unbounded in their approval. Heyne in 
Gottingen some years later wrote a eulogy of the author, 
though he, like Diderot, tempered his praise with real 
criticism. Heyne had written on Pliny's art epochs and 
was surprised that Winckelmann had made so little use 
of that author; but the author of the History of Ancient 
Art knew that Pliny was no evangelist in matters of art. 
Heyne called attention to the weakness of the work its 
uncritical statements and inaccuracies, though he was 
wrong to conclude that the historical part was therefore 
"practically useless." 

The History of Ancient Art was a masterpiece of Ger- 
man prose ; though primarily a scientific work, it possessed 
all the grace, rhythm and dignity which we expect in a 
work of pure literature. With Lessing's Essay it may be 
said to be the beginning of modern German prose. These 
two writers brought German literature into line with the 
world literatures and by opening to the Germans the empire 
of beauty brought a plastic element into their poetry. 
Winckelmann confessed that he had followed the dictum 
of Roscommon that the "greatest masterpiece of everything 
in which mankind has been distinguished is good writing." 
The style, always original, is at times grand as when 
treating of the essence of beauty and in certain descriptions 

8 See her eulogy, Allemagne, Part II, Chap. VI (transl. by O. W. Wright). 


it actually soars. Of his eloquence in describing the Apollo 
Belvedere and the Laocoon, Madame de Stael found his 
style as "calm and majestic as the object of his considera- 
tion." But its style and poetic beauty are its least im- 
portant features. It instituted the historic study of art 
and indicated the methods by which that subject must be 
approached; greatest of all, it overthrew the false taste 
of the day and for the first time scientifically showed the 
existence of an independent Greek art. 

In criticising the contents of this work to-day we must 
bear in mind that it entered an almost new field of criti- 
cism and therefore was influenced but little by anything 
which had preceded it; furthermore we must remember 
that it was composed at a time when but few monuments 
of the great period of Greek art were known. In the 
preface Winckelmann mentions the now forgotten works 
of the painter Monier, of Durand and of Turnbull. The 
best preceding work on ancient painting, that of Franz 
Junius, which had appeared well over a century before 
(in 1637) and remained the source for the study of Greek 
art all that time, he does not mention. This work was, 
however, more philological and philosophical than histor- 
ical in character and had been written by a man who had 
lived most of his life in England and who had never seen 
Italy. The Frenchman Goguet published in 1758 a work 
on the Origin of the Laws of the Arts and Sciences, "one of 
the best books of our times," as Winckelmann termed it; 
but this work was anthropological and historical in char- 
acter rather then esthetic. The most exact and learned work 
on Greek sculpture was a part of the recent Recueil d'an- 
tiquites of the Compte de Caylus, 9 who had traveled ex- 
tensively in Italy, Greece and the East. As for the monu- 
ments of Greek art then available to Winckelmann in Italy, 

9 Recueil d'antiquites egyptiennes, etrusques, grecques, romaines et eau- 
loises, 6 vols. Paris, 1752-5. 


it may be said that the most important examples now 
known to us had not yet been discovered. Of the archaic 
period there were but few significant works and almost 
none of the time of Phidias and little of the fourth century 
B. C Still Winckelmann's treatment of the "grand" and 
"beautiful" styles of the fifth and fourth centuries are for 
all times and all peoples. 

Many of his historical conclusions about art are, of 
course, mistaken. Thus his idea that the Greeks first 
worked in clay and then in wood, ivory, stone and bronze 
successively must be given up, as well as his idea that 
the Greek sculptor first used unwrought cornered blocks, 
which were subsequently rounded and then fashioned into 
herms by placing heads at one end and later differentiated 
by sex, followed by sculpturing the upper part of the body 
and then the lower, until at last Daedalian statues with the 
legs separated were evolved. He was quite as mistaken in 
his contention that Greek art was independent in origin, quite 
uninfluenced by the art of Egypt and the East, the Greeks 
"not deriving the first seeds from elsewhere," but "appear- 
ing to have been original discoverers." We must also 
remember that Winckelmann had to reach Greek art largely 
through Roman copies and imitations; consequently many 
of his conclusions are inadequate in their basis and have 
been either completely overthrown or largely modified by 
subsequent discoveries. Thus no one to-day would echo 
his excessive praise of such monuments of sculpture as 
the Laocoon, the Hercules Torso or the Apollo of the Bel- 
vedere. He assigns the Laocoon to Alexander's time, but 
concludes that posterity has been "unable to produce any- 
thing worthy of being compared with it even remotely." 
The torso he places in the age of Alexander's immediate 
successors and looks upon it as the "lofty ideal of a body 
elevated above nature" ; the Apollo belongs to the imperial 
times after Nero's reign and is "the highest ideal of art 


among all the works of antiquity which have escaped de- 
struction/' and the effect produced on him by its aspect 
is "indescribable." He even explains the lack of veins in 
both the Torso and the Apollo as a sign of their "heavenly 
essence." The excellencies which he saw in these and simi- 
lar works we can now see in far less contaminated purity 
in many monuments which were unknown in his day, and 
consequently we judge them from a very different standard 
when we compare them with genuine products of Greek 
art of the great period instead of with those of the decadent 
epoch. If Winckelmann had seen such beautiful statues 
at those of the Hermes or the Melian Aphrodite, the pride 
of the Louvre and by many looked upon as the most beauti- 
ful of all sculptures, their "noble simplicity" and "calm 
greatness" would have called forth the encomium which, 
in the absence of such noble works, he gave to decadent 
pieces. In that case he doubtless would have seen in the 
Belvedere torso not a resting Hercules at all, but perhaps 
merely a Cyclops as Sauer maintains who is holding up 
his hand to shade his eyes as he looks out over the sea to get 
a glance of his beloved Galatea, and so this piece, with all 
its fine modelling, would fall into place among Pergamene 
works of the Hellenistic period; its lack of veins, then, 
could not be explained by an attempt to deify a hero or to 
etherealize his body. Lessing, instead of using the Lao- 
coon as an example of what sculpture should not attempt 
for it not only groans as he and Winckelmann said, but 
shrieks uses it to illustrate the difference between the 
principles of poetry and sculpture. If either had seen the 
masterpieces of sculpture from the Elgin marbles down, 
they would have judged it very differently and seen that it, 
like the Laocoon, belongs to Pergamene art, as an extreme 
example of the tendencies of that art toward dramatic 
power and exaggerated pathos. In the case of the Apollo, 
however, we must admire Winckelmann's insight; for 


many modern critics believe it is a copy of an original 
bronze dating, perhaps, from the fourth century B. C. ; 
its original has even been assigned to Leochares, who 
worked with the great Scopas on the Mausoleum. 

To one so imbued with the Greek essence of beauty, it 
is not strange that Winckelmann denounced the fantastic 
and exaggerated conceits and affectations of modern art 
and in opposition fearlessly preached his admiration of the 
purity, naturalness and simplicity of ancient works. But 
it was just this insistence on Greek ideals that at times 
led him into wrong appraisals of certain modern artists. 
Thus his wholesale condemnation of the greatest of the 
Renaissance sculptors seems to us not only harsh but wholly 
unjust, even if we try to excuse it by the fact that he doesn't 
judge him from the point of view of modern artists but 
from that of the ancients. In a classic simile he says 
Michelangelo compared with Raphael is what Thucydides 
is compared with Xenophon. To him the supreme inter- 
preter of the Old Testament, the immortal artists of Sibyls 
and Prophets, by his striving after the difficult and extra- 
ordinary, and his "studious employment of scientific knowl- 
edge," is merely the originator and promoter of the cor- 
ruption of taste, which culminated in the theatrical motives 
and strained attitudes of Bernini's art. While admitting 
that he "contemplated lofty beauty," he finds this feature 
in his poetry rather than in his sculpture and painting. 
His Christ heads are "mean and vulgar" and "borrowed 
from the barbarous works of the Middle Ages." The youth- 
ful beardless heads of Christ painted by Raphael and Anni- 
bale Caracci, as well as the bearded Christ of Leonardo, 
he found far more noble. Winckelmann' s insistence on 
Greek ideals led him to affirm that subjects drawn from 
the Christian religion were not favorable to art, and con- 
sequently he endeavored to arouse in the artist enthusiasm 
for classical mythology. Thus he said that artists should 


copy their Saviours from the models of Greek heroes and 
their Holy Virgins from Amazon heads, not perceiving 
that any such slavish tendency would mean the deathknell 
to all independence and progress. In violent contrast to 
his disapproval of Michelangelo, he lauds his friend Ra- 
phael Mengs as "the most accomplished instructor in his 
art/' and speaks of the "immortal works" of him who had 
"reached the highest point of excellence to which the genius 
of men has ever risen/' He ends his panegyric of Mengs 
by calling him "the German Raphael/' We are reminded 
that a German admirer of the author of Paradise Lost 
called Klopstock "the German Milton," and that Coleridge 
sneeringly rejoined "a very German Milton, indeed!" 

Winckelmann's second great work was written in 
Italian, the splendidly illustrated Monumenti. On his 
forty- fourth birthday in 1761 he announced this work 
which finally appeared six years later. This "classic work," 
as Visconti called it, was chiefly intended for Italian schol- 
ars and lovers of art and not, like the History of Ancient 
Art, for the general reader. It was more the fruit of 
Winckelmann's Italian sojourn than any of his other works, 
a fitting tribute of the author to his adopted land. Casa- 
nova furnished the drawings for the more than two hun- 
dred copper plates and vignettes, which were mainly taken 
from sarcophagi reliefs; the expense of draftsmen, en- 
gravers and printing were all borne by the author. The 
plates, selected from unpublished monuments, were accom- 
panied by explanations of mythology, customs and history. 
Winckelmann spent much time and energy on this monu- 
mental work. He says in a letter : "It is known to God and 
myself how I have sweated over it. There are pieces in 
it over each one of which I have sat for five months." 
In recent years it has been objected that the work was 
overloaded with unnecessary learning after the Italian 
fashion, on the assumption that the author wished to make 


a display of his erudition among his Italian contemporaries. 
In any case it is an invaluable work and shows the same 
original and independent style which we see in all his 

We now come to the last scene in Winckelmann's life 
his untimely end. On leaving Germany for Italy thirteen 
years before, he had had no intention of remaining there 
permanently. But soon after he left Dresden the Seven 
Years War broke out and Saxony, especially the capital 
city, suffered terribly. He was fortunate to receive his 
pension at first ; but after two years it was cut in two, and in 
1763, on the death of his patron August II, it was with- 
drawn entirely. In the winter of 1767-8 on returning 
from his last visit to Naples, he was hard at work on the 
revision of his History, for he intended in the spring, in 
conformity with a plan which he had long had in mind, 
to revisit Germany and especially Berlin, where he was to 
see a French edition of his work through the press. The 
recent invitation extended to him by Frederick the Great, 
to come there and take charge of the royal collection of 
antiquities, was well known in Italy, and every attempt 
was made to dissuade him from going, as it was felt that 
he was the only man in Italy with a critical knowledge of 
Greek literature and art, and it was feared that he might 
never return if he again visited his native land. It was 
also just at this time that von Riedesel invited him to 
accompany him to Greece and the East, a journey which 
Winckelmann had longed for all his life. It was a far 
easier thing for him to get permission to go to Greece than 
to cross the Alps. It was hard for him not only to refuse 
Riedesel but to break the ties which bound him to his Ro- 
man friends, especially to the aged Cardinal Albani. Still 
the desire to see his old home finally decided him to go 
north. In his last letter to his old friend Franke at Nothe- 
niz he fondly referred to the Ruheort where they were to 


meet; but he was destined to see neither him nor any of 
his other early friends. 

He started north on April 10, accompanied by his friend 
the sculptor Cavaceppi, who has left us a description of a 
part of the journey. They traveled via Bologna, Venice and 
Verona, and all went well until they reached the Tyrolean 
Alps. It was here on his journey to Rome years before 
that the grandeur of the mountain scenery had delighted 
him so much that later he regarded this part of the journey 
south as the most agreeable; at that time he had written 
to his friend Berends: "I should fill my whole letter with 
things about the Tyrol, if I should attempt to describe the 
rapture into which I was thrown." Now all was changed; 
thirteen years in Italy lay between. He now looked upon 
the same nature with aversion, calling it a "shocking, 
horrible landscape," and he even found fault with the 
architecture of the picturesque thatched Alpine chalets. 
He told Cavaceppi he could not find words to express his 
feelings of aversion. His companion at first thought he 
was jesting. In a few days they reached Munich and 
finally Ratisbon, where Winckelmann came unalterably to 
the determination not to continue the journey, but to return 
at once to Italy. Though he recognized that Cavaceppi's 
remonstrance was just and that he was leaving him in a 
country whose customs and language he did not under- 
stand, he answered that he felt "an overpowering impulse 
within him which he could not withstand," and immediately 
wrote Cardinal Albani his intention of returning. Only 
with the greatest difficulty was he prevailed upon to return 
by the longer route via Vienna. On reaching the Austrian 
capital Winckelmann was received with great honors, and 
Prince Kaunitz tried to persuade him to renounce his de- 
termination. His emotion grew so great that he lay sick 
of a fever for days and finally Cavaceppi gave up hope 
of dissuading him and left. On his recovery he had an 


audience with Maria Theresa at Schonbrunn and received 
from her and Kaunitz several gold and silver medallions 
as tokens of their regard. A promise was even exacted 
of him to return the next year to arrange the empress's 
cabinet. But Winckelmann was counting the days before 
he could go; he wrote the young Baron von Stosch in 
Florence that there was no pleasure left for him in this 
world outside Rome. 

To many this sudden determination of Winckelmann 
to abruptly terminate his long-planned journey has seemed 
inexplicable. The circumstances of the last few months 
of his life explain it only in part. He was certainly worn 
out with his arduous work; two years before he had suf- 
fered from fainting fits, and had gone to Anzio for rest, 
and in March of the present year he had had a recurrence 
of the same malady, which, as he said, warned him "to 
bring his house into order." He suffered also from weak 
eyes and stomach. The fatigue of weeks of post-traveling 
through scenery which he no longer cared for aggravated 
the annoyance caused by suddenly breaking into the quiet 
of his Roman life. The contrast between the joyous Italian 
primavera and the bleak and lonely Tyrolean and Bavarian 
mountains brought on a Roman homesickness. Doubtless 
the memory of the hardships of his youth also came back 
to him as he approached his old home. But all these things 
together do not explain his feelings, for they could not 
have affected to such a degree a strong and healthy nature 
in the prime of life. However, it is not necessary to see 
anything mysterious in his decision, a kind of presentiment 
of evil which came to him in his weakened nervous and 
physical condition, even if many sentences in the letters 
of his last few years speak of his expected early death. 
This Italian homesickness is by no means an uncommon 
phenomenon. While to most of us the yearnings which 
draw us to the ancient world remain faint and remote, to 


Winckelmann they were strong and insistent. As Madame 
de Stael says : "He felt himself attracted with ardor toward 
the South ; we still find in German imagination some traces 
of that love of the sun, that weariness of the North (cette 
fatigue du nord), which formerly drew so many northern 
nations into the countries of the South. A fine sky awakens 
sentiments similar to the love we bear our country. 5 " 
Zimmern, in his recent book on The Greek Commonwealth, 
has expressed a similar thought when he says that one 
must enter deeply into the spirit and life of the south 
before one realizes the difference in outlook. Even north- 
ern poets who have sung of the Southland have done so 
for the most part as visitors to whom the real spirit of the 
country has remained largely exotic, even if it arouses 
their enthusiasm. The gulf in most cases is not bridged 
by a lifetime: often a northern invader of Greece would 
finally return home because of homesickness. Many a 
Prankish baron of medieval Greece left his domain to go 
home and die by the Loire or Rhine. Thus Otto de la 
Roche, the first feudal lord of Attica, who "had the Acropo- 
lis for his castle and the Parthenon for his minster" left 
all in his old age and with his son returned to Burgundy 
to die. Just so Winckelmann swayed between the desire 
to see the land of his birth and to return to the land of his 
adoption. His real home was Italy and not the flat steppes 
of Germany; he was, to quote the words of Goethe, "of an 
ancient nature reappearing, so far as that is possible, 
among his contemporaries/' 

He reached the port of Trieste on June I, whence he 
intended to take ship for Venice. The closing scene 11 of his 
life drama took place in the Grosser Gasthof on the Peters- 
platz. In the next room to his was lodging an Italian 

10 Allemagne, loc. cit., (Wight's translation). 

11 See the little book by von Rosetti entitled Johann Winckelmann' s letzte 
Lebenswoche (Dresden, 1815). 


adventurer named Arcangeli, who was formerly a cook 
and who four years before had been sent to prison as a 
thief. This man had come to Trieste on foot and without 
luggage and was also awaiting a chance to return to Italy. 
The two men became companions at table and the Italian 
volunteered to aid Winckelmann in finding a ship. During 
the week of waiting the two were constantly thrown to- 
gether at table, and Winckelmann asked the Italian to 
visit him in his room, and they also took walks together. 
It seems strange that such an intimacy could have grown 
up between scholar and peasant ; but Winckelmann wanted 
to remain incognito and was glad to while away the tedium 
of the days that passed in talking his beloved Italian, and 
Arcangeli pressed the acquaintance for his own purpose. 
With characteristic frankness Winckelmann had shown 
him the medallions which he had brought from Vienna. 
The avarice of the Italian was at last aroused by these 
paltry souvenirs. The last morning while Winckelmann, 
without coat, cravat or wig, was seated at his table writing 
a letter, Arcangeli entered his room and the two spent 
a half hour walking up and down conversing. Winckel- 
mann invited his companion to visit him in Rome and 
promised he would then disclose to him his identity and 
show him the palace in which he lived. His mysterious 
hints as to who he was aroused the suspicions of the Italian, 
who concluded that he was either a Jew or a Lutheran 
or perhaps a spy. After returning to his own room, he 
put a knife into his pocket and again entered Winckel- 
mann's chamber on the plea of recovering his handkerchief. 
He then asked him again if he would show the medallions 
at the dinner table and, on Winckelmann' s refusing once 
more, asked him why he was so reticent about his identity. 
Winckelmann, offended at his impertinence, did not an- 
swer, but reseated himself and began to write. Then 
Arcangeli quickly threw a noose over his head, dragged 


him to the ground and stabbed him five times in the chest 
and stomach. A servant, aroused by the uproar, rushed 
in and found the Italian over the prostrate body of Winckel- 
mann, who was groaning deeply. The murderer forth- 
with ran hatless out into the street. Winckelmann lived for 
six hours, during which he dictated his will and received 
the last offices of the Church. In his traveling chest were 
found his favorite authors Homer, Plautus and Martial. 
He was buried in the plot of a brotherhood in the church- 
yard of the cathedral of San Giusti. Later, when his re- 
mains were crowded by new arrivals, his bones were cast 
into the common charnel^ house. It is pleasing to know 
that the cowardly assassin was soon caught on the Italian 
frontier and was brought back to Trieste and tried, and 
six weeks later, on the same day and at the same hour in 
which he committed the murder and before the window 
of the hotel where it had occurred, suffered the punishment 
of Ixion. 

Thus Winckelmann departed from life as poor as he 
had entered it. But behind him lay his brief, though glori- 
ous, life of struggle and service. A more fearful end can 
scarcely be imagined. The gods, however, were kind to 
him, for they brought him death near the border of the 
two countries to which he, half German, half Italian be- 
longed. He was only fifty-one years old and therefore 
still in the prime of vigor. In the beautiful words of Goethe 
"he had the advantage of figuring in the memory of poster- 
ity as one eternally able and strong ; for the image in which 
one leaves the world is that in which one moves among 
the shadows." Goethe, then a lad of nineteen, just leaving 
the University of Leipsic for Strasburg, was eagerly await- 
ing the promised opportunity of meeting the great Hellen- 
ist, when he received the tidings of his death. In a letter 
which he wrote years after in Rome (1786), in speaking 
of the emotion which he felt on reading some of the cor- 


respondence of Winckelmann which had come into his 
possession, he said: "How bravely and diligently did he 
not work his way through all difficulties; and what good 
does it not do me the remembrance of such a man in such 
a place." Walter Pater calls it a calamity that the ex- 
pected meeting of these two never took place, for thereby 
German literary history lost a famous friendship. Though 
a bust of Winckelmann was set up in the Roman Pantheon 
only four years after his death, no monument marked the 
place of his passing until fifty years had gone by, when a 
beautiful statue was erected in the square of Trieste. It 
was almost a century before his native Stendal set up a 
monument to its greatest citizen. In 1805 Goethe wrote 
his Winckelmann und sein Jahrhundert, the title of which 
rightly appraises the European position of this famous 
scholar; in 1865-72, a full century after his death, Karl 
Justi gave to the world the first accurate account of 
Winckelmann's short life. In these latter years he has 
received the full meed of honor which his abilities and in- 
fluence have merited. 




There has been a common opinion in the past that what, in a 
broad sense, is known in philosophy as mechanical explanation 
that is, explanation by antecedent cause, is absolutely opposed to 
teleological explanation. According to this view, if some theory of 
a mechanical form is true, any teleological theory (concerning the 
same explicandum) must be false, and vice versa. This opinion is 
even still not uncommon, notwithstanding the philosophy of Leib- 
niz and Kant's third critique. To me the contrary view appears 
to be correct, and the recognition of its truth to be very important, 
especially in the treatment of religious phenomena. A detailed argu- 
ment in support of this contrary view has already appeared in this 
journal from the pen of its editor, Dr. Cams. 1 In the present 
article I propose to offer an analysis of the situation, from a some- 
what different standpoint, in further support of this theory. 

Since the time of Fichte, the dominant school of speculative 
thought has tended toward explanation that is teleological. With 
regard to mechanical explanation two attitudes have been adopted. 
It has been said, on the one hand, that mechanical explanation, ac- 
curately carried out, is true "so far as it goes," but that it is not 
the whole truth, and that in particular, it must be supplemented by 
teleological explanation. On the other hand, the position that me- 
chanical explanation is no explanation seems to have been held not 
infrequently. Advocates of this view would probably admit that 
to many physical phenomena no teleological explanation can rea- 
sonably be assigned; and, in so far as they held that explanation 
1 Vol. XXIII, No. 2. 


must be either mechanical or teleological, they would consequently 
have to admit that of such physical phenomena a mechanical ex- 
planation is the alternative to no explanation at all. They would 
be disinclined, nevertheless, to accept such explanation. And they 
would resent any attempt to explain mechanically something with 
regard to which they believed themselves possessed of a teleological 
explanation. This happens most frequently concerning things that 
are judged to be valuable, and perhaps most conspicuously in con- 
nection with religion. 

Even those who admit that mechanical explanation is true "so 
far as it goes" often appear to share this resentment toward attempts 
to treat religion from the mechanical point of view. This is not 
because such attempts have always issued in explanations which 
were mechanically inadequate, even if this be true. Any thinker, 
even though he were to believe in the universality of mechanical 
explanation, would object to such explanation in so far as it was 
inaccurate. He might resent any general acceptance of the propo- 
sition that water under normal pressure boils at 211 F. And he 
might be willing to admit that the mechanical explanation of religion 
which sees its origin in the lust of priests and the tyranny of kings 
cannot be accepted as remotely probable. This, however, is not the 
attitude of the teleologist. He says, in effect, that such a phenom- 
enon as religion, being of vital importance to man, must be explained 
by its function, not by its cause ; and that its significance is destroyed 
by any theory which is in essence mechanical. He objects to "the 
Enlightenment" treatment of religion, not because it was inaccurate 
in detail, but because it was wrong in its form. And his position 
seems at first sight to be borne out by modern philosophical specu- 

What is usually regarded as the idealistic attitude toward me- 
chanical explanation, when this is offered as ultimate philosophical 
hypothesis, seems now established. We obviously cannot explain 
the whole of existence by something, as it were, antecedent to it. The 
alternative is for mechanical theory to explain part of the whole 
by an antecedent and "ultimate" part. The objection which then 
finally emerges is that the explanatory reality, whatever form it 
assumes, remains mechanically inexplicable. Explanation has been 
obtained perhaps even at the cost of creating a new explicandum. 

It seems to be sometimes assumed that the only conclusion to 
be drawn from this position is that philosophical explanation must 


be Ideological ; but the considerations which make mechanical ex- 
planation finally impossible, make teleology impossible also. We 
certainly cannot explain the whole of existence by an end that is its 
consequent, which is somehow to come after it, and is, at any 
rate, additional to it. There is nothing after, just as there is nothing 
antecedent to, the whole of existence. The alternative here also is to 
explain ( ideologically) one part of the whole by another part. 
But this is formally no better than the analogous situation with 
regard to mechanism. At least, this is so if "explaining a thing 
ideologically" be defined as "showing that it is a means to the 
realization of something else." For the ideologist's "end" is a 
final inexplicable just as is "the first cause" of the mechanist. 

It of course might be held that we give a ideological explana- 
tion of anything if we show that it is either means or end ; and upon 
such a view we have, in showing that one thing is means to another, 
given a ideological explanation of both things. But to such a 
theory the advocate of mechanical explanation could reply that he, 
in his turn, will hold that both the explicandum and its cause are 
(mechanically) explained once the latter has been assigned. The 
ideologist could not reasonably deny the justification for this proce- 
dure without renouncing his own formally similar procedure. It 
must therefore be concluded that if ultimate philosophical explana- 
tion cannot be mechanical because it involves the postulating of a 
reality not mechanically explicable, an analogous reason leads to 
the abandonment of the idea that such explanation can be ideo- 

The ideologist may endeavor to escape from this position by 
suggesting that everything is to be explained as both means and 
end, the significance of this suggestion being that everything is 
ideologically explained in so far as everything is a means. Apart 
from the difficulty of proving such a theory, the formal difficulty 
still remains. No doubt everything is explained so far as everything 
is means; but, on the other hand, nothing is explained so far as 
everything is end. The explanation still leaves an inexplicable, an 
inexplicable, indeed, which now permeates the whole. 

The result which thus appears to be forced upon us by con- 
sidering the formal characteristics of the two methods of explana- 
tion, is corroborated by an impartial survey of actual theories em- 
bodying them. If it must be admitted, in the face of the ideolo- 
gist's charge, that the mechanical "first cause" alternates between 


possessing more content than can be justified and possessing no 
content at all; even if it must be admitted that this explanatory 
reality always tends to approximate to the empty abstraction, the 
thing-in-itself ; it must be charged to the account of the teleologist 
that his professedly complete explanations are purely verbal. The 
theory that all the parts of the universe are means to a certain end, 
such as the realization of self-consciousness or spirit, is plausible, 
if at all, only so long as we keep to the most general form of state- 
ment. Descend to particular facts; inquire what evidence there is 
for believing that the realization of self-consciousness or spirit 
demands, for example, just the existing number of human beings, 
or of birds, or of trees ; and the whole "explanation" is seen to be 
"on paper" only. 

It must therefore be concluded that when regarded as ultimate 
philosophical explanation, theories of mechanism and theories of 
teleology are, formally and materially, equally unsatisfactory. The 
recognition of this fact has been stated in the form that of the 
universe as a whole no explanation can be given. According to this 
view, which appears correct, the totality of existence is the one 
great inexplicable which must simply be accepted; and the most 
philosophy can do is to illuminate its nature. 

So far as philosophy is concerned, the interesting question at 
this point is what form this illumination of the nature of the uni- 
verse is to take, in other words, precisely what is the problem of 
philosophy. The importance of this question is due to the fact 
that no one can be expected to solve a problem which is not definitely 
stated. It is outside the scope of the present article to deal with 
this point further than to emphasize its importance. For it is in 
fact partly due to the neglect of it that the conflict between the 
teleologist and the mechanist breaks out once more, but in a form 
somewhat different from that already considered. Whether or not 
the attempt to give an explanation of "the whole" is now definitely 
abandoned, the actual problems dealt with are of a more modest 
character. Each side clings to its form of explanation as the vitally 
important one, and, applying it to one finite phenomenon after 
another, endeavors to extend its range indefinitely. Attempts are 
made to show, on the one hand, that the category of means, on the 
other hand, that the category of antecedent cause, is of universal 
application, each position being stated as in some sense a methodo- 
logical principle, while the presumption in favor of each is con- 


sidered to vary directly with the number of phenomena explicable, 
and inversely with the number not explicable, by it. 

When the two positions are thus opposed, it may seem diffi- 
cult to decide between them, or to see on what principle any decision 
is to be reached. In practice the universalization of each type of 
explanation is fraught with difficulties, upon which its opponents 
fasten. Mechanical explanation appears to proceed smoothly so long 
as it keeps to the inorganic sphere. Immediately it leaves this 
sphere, its task becomes harder, and the admission must be made 
that of much that is organic no mechanical explanation has yet been 
given. The universal applicability of this type of explanation can- 
not therefore be considered more than a methodological ideal. The 
teleologist appears to occupy an analogous position. He moves with 
ease in the organic realm, although even here he cannot yet main- 
tain that his task is completed; but when he enters the realm of 
the inorganic, he is unable to proceed at all unless he adopts some 
elaborate and unverifiable hypothesis about the nature of matter. 
Thus, the obvious fact is that phenomena which can readily be 
given a mechanical explanation are such as afford little apparent 
ground for a teleological explanation, and vice versa. 

Suppose now that all phenomena whatsoever could be divided 
into three classes as follows: (1) phenomena of which there exists 
a mechanical but not a teleological explanation, (2) phenomena of 
which there exists a teleological but not a mechanical explanation, 
and (3) phenomena of which there exists neither a mechanical nor 
a teleological explanation. In such a situation, the chance of a con- 
flict between the mechanist and the teleologist would appear to be 
remote. Of course the mechanist might maintain that present-day 
teleological explanation is illusory, and that future knowledge will 
make it clear that the phenomena in classes (2) and (3) can be ex- 
plained mechanically. And if the teleologist were to adopt an 
analogous position with regard to present-day mechanical explana- 
tions and the phenomena in classes (1) and (3), a conflict certainly 
would result. Such a conflict, however, would be based upon faith 
in the universal applicability of the methods concerned, and, in the 
absence of evidence, would be unreasonable. Hence, the conflict 
that now arises is not based upon such faith. The fact is that the 
above supposition is not true, there being a fourth class of phe- 
nomena, those, namely, of which explanations of both kinds are 
offered. This brings the trouble to a definite head. For of these 


phenomena the teleologist maintains the correctness of his own and 
the falsity of the mechanical explanation, while the mechanist simi- 
larly asserts that his explanation is the only true one. 

The coloration of the humming-bird, for instance, has been ex- 
plained both ideologically and mechanically. Teleology urges that 
the phenomenon is explained by its function. This function, it says, 
is sexual attraction, as a result of which the survival of those birds 
that were colored in special ways was guaranteed. The mechanist 
points out, however, that the humming-bird is normally in incessant 
motion, and urges that the relatively large quantities of waste 
products accumulating in its feathers as a result of its activity is 
the correct explanation of its coloration. 

Now, in so far as the teleologist denies that the mechanical, 
and the mechanist that the teleological explanation, is true, there is 
a definite conflict between them ; but it is a conflict which investiga- 
tion, theoretically at least, could remove. A carefully performed 
investigation might show that the coloration of the humming-bird 
subserves no biological purpose, or it might prove that the mechan- 
ical explanation is incorrect. The important point, however, is 
that it could, theoretically, prove that both explanations are true. 
For these explanations, so far from being logical contradictories, 
are not even logical contraries. In themselves they do not conflict 
at all. The only possible conflict occurs when the advocate of one 
explanation denies the other. And this is unjustifiable. It might 
quite well be that the coloration of the humming-bird is caused as 
the mechanical explanation asserts, or at least in some rather similar 
way, and that it has had a biological significance. The one ex- 
planation states that the phenomenon has a cause; the other, so 
far from denying this, merely asserts that it has a function. No 
conflict is possible between two theories one of which states that a 
certain phenomenon has a cause and the other that it has an effect. 

The harmony between the two explanations is rendered clearer 
by considering what "natural selection," which is the essence of 
much teleological explanation, really is. Darwin accepted organic 
variations as one of his ultimates, and he then endeavored to show 
that, with variations in the environment (in the widest sense of the 
term), one organic variation survives rather than another. He did 
not deny that organic variations have causes, although he professed 
himself entirely ignorant as to what these causes are. Now with 
regard to such a phenomenon as the coloration of the humming- 


bird, the Ideologist really adopts the Darwinian hypothesis in its 
original form, while the mechanist has proceeded, not to deny this 
hypothesis, but rather to enlarge it by assigning a cause for one of 
the organic variations. 2 

The conflict between the mechanist and the teleologist neverthe- 
less continues, and its most acute stage is reached when both put 
forward explanations of religious phenomena. Let us suppose 
that it be asked why a certain man prays. The teleologist, having 
regard to the function of prayer in the man's life, may say that it 
is because prayer uplifts and strengthens him. If he answers thus, 
he is giving what is formally a perfectly good teleological explana- 
tion, which may also be true in fact. But the mechanist may say 
that a man prays because his mother has taught him to pray. Is 
there then a conflict between the mechanist and the teleologist? 
Not if "because" be used in an appropriate sense by each. For it 
seems unquestionable that both explanations may be correct: the 
man may be uplifted and strengthened by prayer and he may pray 
now because he has been taught to pray. While this cannot very 
well be denied, the teleologist usually exhibits a certain hostility 
toward the mechanical explanation. This hostility increases in pro- 
portion as the phenomena concerned become more extensive, reach- 
ing a climax when such phenomena become synonymous with re- 
ligion as a whole. The situation, however, is clear, and there is 
no ground whatever for the hostility. Just as the coloration of 
the humming-bird may have both a mechanical and a teleological ex- 
planation, so may any phenomenon whatsoever. If therefore the 
teleologist is interested in the function of religion, in the purpose 
it plays in social and individual life, he may limit his statements to 
the making explicit of this aspect of religion, and is quite justified 
in so doing. But the man who seeks for the causal antecedents of 
religion is equally justified, and his mechanical explanation is in no 
way opposed to that of the teleologist. The one type of explanation 
is without prejudice to the other. 

The most that an advocate of one type can say to an advocate 
of the other is that he is only interested in his own type of ex- 
planation. Such an attitude, however, would be onesided. An im- 
partial and complete review of religion will include a consideration 
both of its function and of its antecedent conditions. Indeed, as 

2 By assigning a particular kind of cause, however, namely, a conscious 
purpose, it is often thought that a teleological explanation of organic variations 
is given ; but see below, with regard to the explanation of a man's possession 
of a boat. 


we are able to control events only in so far as we know their causes, 
the mechanical explanation of religion seems to be as valuable as, 
if not more valuable than, its teleological explanation. And there 
is a further reason for the importance of mechanical explanations 
of religious phenomena at the present time. In the past, such ex- 
planations have often involved too much hypothesis about the be- 
ginnings of mental life to render them either convincing or useful, 
not to mention that they have usually laid themselves open to the 
charge of merely reconstructing complex evolved phenomena out 
of elements that are themselves products of evolution. What is now 
needed is a treatment of religious phenomena which shall connect 
them with psychical processes such as we know them. Such a treat- 
ment would distinguish between a man's psychical constitution and 
what tradition gives him. With this distinction in mind, it would 
explain the life of a present-day religious man by reference to his 
psychology and not by reference to that of some primitive ancestor. 
And it would endeavor to indicate the psychical tendencies which 
lead the religious man to accept the religious tradition. 

It is fairly obvious that the easy adoption of this standpoint 
requires a recognition of the fact that mechanical and teleological 
explanations, so far from being in opposition, are complementary. 
In the past, various obstacles have stood in the way of this recog- 
nition. It will therefore be of use to consider now what the more 
important of these obstacles are. 

A reference may first of all be made to the influence of rash 
statement. It is always difficult for the enthusiast to keep his 
speech within the bounds of logic; but when the mechanist, for 
example, asserts positively, and in the absence of anything that 
could be called strict scientific evidence, that the cause of religious 
experience is matter in motion, he inevitably finds himself in con- 
flict both with the sober teleologist and with the teleologist who is as 
rash as himself. This, however, is obvious ; and since the conflict 
thus arising is not in itself any reason why the complementary char- 
acter of the two types of explanation should not be recognized, it 
is unnecessary to consider it further. 

We now come to a more important point. Some confusion 
seems frequently to have been due to the employment of the term 
"explanation" without any precise definition of its meaning. It is 
commonly thought that an explanation is a complete account of a 
thing, so that if one explanation is true, any other must be false. 


This no doubt is only felt in a vague kind of way ; and it would, in 
fact, be an error to say that the philosophical explanation of a thing 
consists in stating all the propositions that are true of it. All ex- 
planation is the establishing of certain kinds of connection between 
the phenomena to be explained and others; and no explanation 
includes the proposition that it is a complete explanation. Possibly, 
it would be an advantage if the term "explanation" were not to be 
used in the present connection. If it were to be definitely recog- 
nized that a mechanical "explanation" consists in assigning causal 
antecedents, while a teleological "explanation" is the assignment of 
function, it would be realized that the two types of "explanation" 
do not conflict at all, but that they are, in fact, a viewing of phe- 
nomena from two standpoints. 

Apart from this difficulty concerning the term "explanation," 
there has been a perhaps greater difficulty in connection with the 
term "teleology." There has as a rule been no clear conception of 
what was being done in giving a teleological explanation. Perhaps 
the chief point of confusion here has been in the idea that a teleo- 
logical explanation of any phenomenon consisted in showing that 
there existed antecedent to the phenomenon a purpose in some 
mind, and that this purpose brought the phenomenon into being. 
Let us suppose, for example, that a man who lives on the bank of 
a river is asked why he has a boat. He may reply that he has it 
for pleasure. In giving such a reply, he would be offering a good 
teleological explanation of his possession of a boat, he would be 
explaining this fact by the function which the boat has in his life. 
But he might conceivably have given a mechanical explanation. 
He might have replied that he has the boat because a friend one 
evening suggested he should procure one, that the idea struck his 
fancy, that he happened to possess the necessary money to buy one, 
that there already existed a boat which could be bought, and so on. 
Such an explanation would certainly be as true as any teleological 
explanation. If the boat did give the man pleasure, his possession 
of it on the other hand certainly had causal antecedents. That is 
to say, his possession of the boat had both a cause and an effect. 
And so far as the mechanist restricts himself to the assignment 
of a cause and the teleologist restricts himself to the assignment 
of a function, no conflict is possible. 

But now there frequently arises a misapprehension. Among 
the causal antecedents of the man's possession of the boat, there 


was a certain state of his mind, which included a purpose. It might 
be maintained that of all the causal antecedents this was the most 
important and deserves to be specially emphasized in any explana- 
tion of the man's possession of the boat. And it must be admitted 
that this state of the man's mind was important, although whether 
it was more important than the fact that he possessed a certain 
amount of money, is not easy to determine. But however important 
it may have been, it must be noted that it is a part of the mechanical 
explanation of the fact to be explained : it is one of the fact's causal 
antecedents. 3 Now the teleologist seems to have frequently held 
that this factor constitutes the teleological explanation of the fact. 
He sees that the conscious purpose is important; and he appears 
to confuse a conscious purpose which is an antecedent cause of a 
phenomenon, and therefore part of its mechanical explanation, with 
the "purpose" of the phenomenon in being a means to an end. 
"Purpose," in the latter sense, however, does not refer to a con- 
scious state, but merely to the manner in which a thing functions, 
to what might be called, in a broad sense, an effect of the thing. 

That a conflict should have arisen between the mechanist and 
the teleologist as a result of such a confusion was inevitable. It 
frequently led to the teleologist selecting a part of the mechanical 
as the teleological explanation; and his conflict with the mechanist 
has consequently often been due to the fact that what is admittedly 
an important part of the mechanical explanation is asserted by the 
teleologist to be the whole explanation and to be teleological. The 
teleologist did not see that his explanation was really mechanical, 
nor that it was precisely this which caused the conflict between 
himself and the mechanist. The two kinds of explanation could 
not be regarded as complementary while the teleologist asserted 
one antecedent cause and the mechanist another. In fact, the con- 
flict between mechanist and teleologist has often been essentially 
similar to a dispute which would arise between two scientists were 
one to say that the cause of a certain event is A, and the other that 
this cause is B, or at least A plus C. 

Connected with this misapprehension of the true character of 
teleological explanation, is the more or less popular view of the 
divine ordination of religion. According to this view, the true 
explanation of religion, which as a result of the above confusion 

8 The psycho-physical parallelist would deny this ; but, then, he could not 
hold that the man's purpose was of the slightest importance, as it, for him, 
could not affect any physical phenomenon. 


is regarded as teleological, is that a purpose in God's mind deter- 
mined its existence. This is, of course, a mechanical explanation. 
And it conflicts with what is ordinarily called mechanical explana- 
tion of religion because this is usually, in its aim, scientific, in 
that it attempts to discover verae causae. In so far, therefore, as 
such a "teleological" explanation was implicitly accepted, it would 
produce hostility toward such mechanical explanation as endeav- 
ored to be scientific. The conflict thus arising would really be 
between a scientific and an unscientific mechanical theory. 

The misapprehension just considered leads to the position that 
any given "teleological" explanation must conflict with any given me- 
chanical explanation. But apart from such post facto conflict, the 
teleologist, as has been noted above, frequently objects to the very 
idea of mechanical explanation. It appears to me that the reason 
of this attitude is largely to be found in two ideas, which must be 
considered briefly. 

The first of these concerns the causal relation. Among the 
various theories with regard to the nature of this relation there has 
appeared the view that cause and effect are identical, the effect being 
merely a transformation of the cause. Such a theory is not com- 
patible with certain common usages of causal terminology; but, on 
the other hand, it appears to be implicit in much popular belief. 
Now a person who accepted such a theory would be disinclined to 
admit that something regarded by him as valuable had a cause less 
valuable than itself. As it is generally considered that superstition 
in its more primitive forms and the feelings associated with it are 
less valuable than enlightened religion, a certain hostility arises 
toward any attempt to show that the former is at least part of the 
cause of the latter. Since this, however, cannot be very well denied, 
the teleologist admits it with a somewhat bad grace, maintaining 
that the assignment of causal antecedents is not explanation. Such 
an assertion has no point once it is seen what explanation is. 

It is unnecessary to enter here upon any criticism of this con- 
ception of the causal relation, although it could be shown not to 
be in agreement with recent conclusions on the subject. The im- 
portant point is to maintain that the value of a thing is independent 
of its genesis. If an institution, for instance, really is valuable at the 
present day, it remains valuable whatever its origin may have been. 
To say that its value is depreciated by supposing that its cause was 
less valuable than itself is to admit that it is not it that is valued 


but some belief about it. The value then naturally disappears 
when the belief is proved to be false. It is therefore unreasonable 
to depreciate the value of religion, for example, because of the un- 
doubted fact that superstition moulded its earlier forms. Indeed, it 
would be more reasonable for the man who is convinced of the 
value of religion to place upon earlier superstitions a higher value ; 
for have not they been part of the cause of this valuable thing? 
There is, however, a strong disinclination to adopt this point of 
view. In spite of anthropological evidence, the teleologist will al- 
most deny that religion could have an origin with which evil was 
intimately associated. It is probably here that we should look for 
the explanation of the not uncommon attitude of hostility toward 
such theories of religion as were propounded by Holbach and the 
Encyclopedists. Of course, objection may be taken to such theories 
on the ground that they assign causes wrongly; but to him who 
considers religion valuable, no reasonable objection to them can 
be made to depend upon the fact that the causes assigned would be 
considered by us destitute of value, or even positively bad. 

Perhaps an even more important factor in the teleologist's hos- 
tility toward the mechanical explanation of religion is the idea, 
often felt more or less dimly rather than clearly cognized, that any 
account of the genesis of an institution tends to lessen its authority 
over the individual. Those who believe that the authority exer- 
cised by religion is productive of excellent results, naturally desire 
that the authority of religion shall not be weakened. The teleologist, 
who often holds this belief, therefore tends unconsciously to object 
to any mechanical explanation of religion. This tendency is perhaps 
strengthened by a kind of unconscious pragmatism, by the almost 
unconscious belief that a theory that has bad consequences must be 
false. There thus arises on the part of the teleologist a hostility 
to the mere form of mechanical explanation, a hostility which is 
rendered greater by a great hope and a great fear. 

The question involved here must be admitted to be important. 
But there appears to have been some misapprehension as to what 
this question is. The situation is not such as to justify hostility 
toward explanation merely because it is mechanical in form. To 
suppose that it is, is to miss the point entirely. The question belongs, 
in fact, to the sphere of practice rather than to that of theory, and 
may be termed in a general sense educational. From a practical 
standpoint, it can be inquired whether it is justifiable to propagate 


a knowledge of the genesis of certain institutions if it seems likely 
that such knowledge will have bad consequences; but the question, 
what is the truth, is quite distinct from the question, should the 
truth be freely given to all. It may be practically best at a given 
period to prevent the knowledge of the genesis of religion, for 
example, (supposing that we possess it), from becoming popular; 
but this is by no means equivalent to admitting that religion has no 
antecedent cause. If, therefore, the teleologist here makes an ob- 
jection to the mechanical theory, he must base it on the unwisdom 
of the mechanist in publishing his theory and not on that theory's 

Such appear to be the chief factors in the mechanical explana- 
tion of the belief that teleological and mechanical theories of re- 
ligious phenomena are absolutely opposed to each other. Contrary 
to this belief, our general conclusion must be that the two forms 
of explanation are complementary and in no sort of conflict. It is 
perhaps necessary to add that by "mechanical explanation" here is 
not meant "explanation by matter in motion exclusively" (vide 
first paragraph of article). 

BERNARD Muscio. 



There are many rationalistically-minded theists to-day who 
wonder how intelligent persons can continue to use the language 
of the old Trinitarian dogma. God to them is an unquestioned 
reality; although we never see or hear Him, and cannot clearly say 
where or how He exists, we can be sure that He does exist. But 
that He is One God in Three Persons seems to them utterly un- 
intelligible and a remnant of scholastic metaphysics which modern 
common sense should repudiate. Surely, when Christianity is thor- 
oughly rationalized, this incomprehensible and self-contradictory 
doctrine must yield to the clean-cut Unitarian conception. 

In answer to this familiar contention, it would not be a paradox 
to say that the mystical Trinitarian formula, though, to be sure, it 
is clothed in the creeds with an unwarranted license of language, 
is based far more firmly upon experience than the more sharply 
defined theistic conception of the rationalists. 


For how do we know, after all, that God exists ? The old naive 
faith in the Biblical legends of a Jehovah who walked in the garden 
in the cool of the afternoon, who conversed with the saints, and 
wrote the Decalog with his finger upon tables of stone, is obsolescent. 
We can no longer believe in the existence of such a person just 
because the writers of the Bible-documents believed in him, any 
more than we can believe in Apollo or Artemis because the Greek 
epic poets believed in them. We cannot even believe in him because 
Jesus believed in him; a Jew of the first century, steeped in the 
pious hopes of his countrymen, how could he possibly help believ- 
ing? His genius was religious, not scientific; he was no analyst, 
as Phillips Brooks once said ; the whole bent of his nature led him 
to adopt the faith of his fathers, deepening, sweetening, spiritual- 
izing it, but certainly never questioning its essential truth. 

Nor can we rely any longer upon the stock arguments of the 
older theology arguments from design, first-cause, et al. Every 
one of these has been so riddled with objections, or had its fallacies 
so exposed, that it needs an unread or obtuse theologian to rely 
upon them. The younger generation leaves the dust to gather upon 
all this laborious argumentation, pro and con, and turns to religious 
experience as the sole source of its faith and hopes. The question 
that now engages attention is, How is God revealed in human ex- 
perience? Psychology and biography take the place of metaphys- 
ics, introspection and observation of a priori reasoning. The con- 
viction is growing that the conception of God does not rest upon 
inferences from the nature of the universe, and still less upon a 
supernatural revelation, but upon the concrete facts of the religious 
life. God-experiences (if we may use the phrase) are primary, 
God-theories are secondary. So that even if our theorizing remains 
dubious and confused, these experiences are indisputable and pre- 
cious ; even if we were to discard the term "God" entirely, the 
Reality which we seek to name thereby would remain, of profound 
importance in the religious life of man. 

And now, from historical and phychological studies this con- 
clusion emerges: our experience of God is of three types there 
are three sorts of human experience which, together, give us our 
conception of God. 

Historically, the concept of God came into existence in these 
three principal ways : it was the crystallization of the awe and rev- 
erence and fear and faith felt in the contemplation of nature, felt 


in the thought of deceased heroes or chiefs believed to be still 
alive, felt in the response to that inward pressure that we call con- 
science. We have passed beyond the stage of disputing whether 
religion had its origin in animism or in the belief in ghosts ; it 
sprang from both sources. And what is less commonly recog- 
nized it sprang from the inner struggles of those prehistoric an- 
cestors of ours who, millenniums before St. Paul, found two 
natures battling within them, the one devilish, the other divine. 

And what is true of its origin is true of our God-idea still. 
In its fulness it is formed by the convergence of three great streams 
of mental tendency the recognition of the Divine in nature, in 
our spiritual heroes, and in ourselves. God about and beyond us, 
in the vastness of the cosmic life ; God in whatever religious leader 
the believer follows, the spiritual power in that other human life 
upon which he leans for guidance and inspiration ; God in his heart, 
the Holy Spirit in him, to which he must give his entire allegiance 
if he would find lasting satisfaction and peace, man's conception 
of God is naturally Trinitarian. For the Christian, Christ is pre- 
eminent among spiritual heroes, epitomizing and typifying that Di- 
vinity in other men which is our greatest source of salvation ; he is the 
supreme revealer of God to us, the symbol and concrete incarnation 
of Godliness in man. And so the Trinitarianism of Christianity, 
derived as it was by a devious and blind process of intuition and 
easily refutable dialectic, has not been, after all, a wide departure 
from man's spontaneus and instinctive reactions to the great and 
mysterious forces without him and within. 

The belief in God is not, then, a mere act of credulity, a venture 
of faith in the unknown, an "over-belief," sufficient for our 
personal needs but unverifiable, unprovable to others. Such an ad- 
venturous belief might indeed be legitimate; but is it all we can 
have? No. The concept of God is, in its foundation-sense, empir- 
ical ; it is not, at the outset, a matter of blindly believing, but of 
opening our eyes to see. It is one of Matthew Arnold's greatest 
services to thought that he insisted upon this truth. We may not 
deem his definition of God, as "the Power not ourselves that makes 
for righteousness," comprehensive enough; but we must applaud 
his attempt to point out in the conception of God, so largely being 
discarded as a mere superstition, a substratum of truth. 

For there surely is in the world a great current pushing us 
into righteousness. In struggling to do right we are not setting 


up merely arbitrary and conventional standards, we are moving in 
the direction which the forces of Nature have ordained. No matter 
how men may rebel and kick against the pricks, morality is bound 
eventually to win the day. In choosing virtue we choose the win- 
ning side; the cosmos is backing us. In this knowledge there is 
inspiration and assurance. 

Moreover, the same cosmic process that has, from the begin- 
ning, been moving irresistibly in the direction of producing, in due 
time, human virtue and valor, has also flowered out into beauty 
and all other forms of good. Forces making for evil there also 
are, for ugliness and sorrow and sin ; and men have widely differed 
in their reaction to that truth, some forming from it a devil-concept, 
some clinging to the faith that it contributes in the end to good, 
some ignoring it, throwing it overboard, as the mere waste-product 
of life. But to realize through every fiber of our being the presence 
of the Power for Good, the God-Power, as enduring and ultimately 
winning, to pledge our individual efforts on its side, and rejoice in 
its triumphs, is the essential differentia of the religious life. 

The great seers and saints have realized more vividly than the 
average man the presence of this God in nature. From the Psalm- 
ists to Wordsworth, Carlyle, Emerson, we find men of vision in- 
spired and consoled by the sight of this tide of Good that sweeps 
man on to a destiny which he but dimly sees. Much that was super- 
stition and error has been mingled, no doubt, with this vision. This 
God whose glory the heavens declare was deemed a partisan Jewish 
deity, with a manlike form and speech, offering a crude extraneous 
reward and punishment to those who followed or disobeyed his 
will. But such anthropomorphism is better than an absence of 
vision. For rewards and punishments for virtue and vice there are, 
though they are intrinsic, and brought about in natural ways. And 
to lose the sense of the divineness of nature, to lose the faculty of 
worship, of reverence, of joy in the beauty and wonder of the 
world in which we live, is not only to be, in so far, irreligious, but 
therein to miss one of the essential ingredients in the noblest and 
happiest life. 

But more than in nature do we find God in men the best men 
we know ; and for us at least of Christendom, in Christ. This need 
not imply any disloyalty to a truly historic conception of his life 
and teachings, need not imply anything miraculous or supernatural 
about him. The divineness in Christ may be as much a natural fact, 


produced according to natural laws, as the divineness in the outer 
world may be. For our purpose here we need not debate that ques- 
tion. For certainly it was not the debated fact of supernaturalness 
(in the scientific sense) that made Christ divine; it was his char- 
acter. His will was wholly merged with the will of God ; there was 
no selfishness, no self-indulgence, in him. The Christ-life is the 
divine life for men, the measure of the amount of Godliness that 
we are capable of. To call his life divine is not in the least to 
assert that he was born of a virgin, raised the dead, rose himself 
from the tomb; it is a different sort of judgment, a value- judgement. 
The facts about his life must be decided by historical methods, as 
we would sift the records of the life of any other personage of the 
past; no ardent believer or entrenched ecclesiasticism ought to at- 
tempt to bias the impartial judgment of scholars upon them. But 
the question of the divineness of this life is to be decided by men of 
spiritual vision. And the verdict of truly religious men is all but 
unanimous ; the great warrior, the great statesman, the great in- 
ventor, the great poet, have a veritable spark of God in them; but 
the life that is most truly divine, that most fully reaches up to God, 
is the life of purity and charity and self-sacrifice. Preeminent 
among such lives, dazzling men of all races for the two millenniums 
since he lived, is the life of the Carpenter of Nazareth. 

But if divinity is especially incarnate in the spiritual heroes of 
mankind, it may also, in some measure live in each of us. We 
recognize amid the tangle and clutter of selfish and sensual desires 
a holier spirit within us. Sometimes an uprush of noble feeling or 
high resolve, a power for good, wells up in us, and we know it to 
be divine. This fountain of inner holiness springs up at times 
abruptly, even unexpectedly, and then oftenest subdues our other 
impulses into hushed obedience. But we need not consider these con- 
version-experiences as supernatural ; the new spirit is holy, not be- 
cause of its miraculous way of working, but because its influence in 
our lives is divine. The practically significant fact is that this power 
is ready for our use. As Emerson wrote, "It is a secret which every 
intelligent man quickly learns, that beyond the energy of his pos- 
sessed and conscious intellect, he is capable of a new energy (as 
of an intellect doubled on itself) by abandonment to the nature 
of things ; that besides his power as an individual man, there is a 
great public power upon which he can draw, by unlocking at all 


risks his human doors, and suffering the ethereal tides to roll and 
circulate through him." 

What all this may imply about the ultimate metaphysical nature 
of God is, no doubt, worth discussing, and conceivably of great 
import. But men are coming in these latter days to a humbler sense 
of their intellectual limitations ; we are realizing that we know 
nothing of the inner nature of anything, save of our own conscious 
life as it passes. What is matter? What is electricity? What is 
God? Perhaps we cannot know. But what is practically important 
is to understand and utilize the experiences out of which these con- 
cepts have grown. If we can use electricity in our telephones and 
dynamos and trolley cars, we can be content to confess our ignorance 
of its inner nature. So if we can comprehend and repeat the re- 
ligious experiences out of which the concept of God has arisen, it 
matters less if our knowledge of God is limited to that experience- 

Souls of different types and needs will naturally formulate their 
experience in different terms ; there is no need that any one to whom 
the generalization is not personally useful should express his God- 
idea in a trinitarian formula. Trinitarianism should never be a 
dogma. And with the arguments and disputes of the Greek doctors 
of the third and fourth centuries, through whom that dogma took 
shape, we may have scant patience. Certainly all that sort of specu- 
lation is very alien to our modern scientific world-view. But on 
the other hand, the arguments of the rationalists of to-day for a 
God-idea divorced from those experiences in which it has its natural 
roots, are equally alien to the outlook and spirit of science. To 
believe in God is a mere act of credulity, except as we see the 
meaning of the God-idea in human life. When we do thus turn to 
experience, we find ourselves led to the God-conception from the 
three sorts of experience mentioned. So, as an embodiment of the 
profound truth of the threefold basis of our human conception of 
God, the Trinitarianism of the saints should command our sympathy 
and respect. 

Trinitarianism, Unitarianism as mutually exclusive dogmas, 
both are cramping and arrogant. What is important is to keep 
alive the experience that each term enshrines. The essential oneness 
of all God-experiences, and of the God-idea which they unite in 
producing, is important, no doubt. But the bare insistence upon 
unity has, now that the extravagances of polytheism are forever 


past, little religious value, and tends to a contentment with less 
than the full gamut of religious experience. No one of the three 
forms of God-experience can be dispensed with in a rich and fruit- 
ful spiritual life; and it is no wonder that the orthodox have gen- 
erally felt a merely negative Unitarianism to have an impoverishing 
tendency. However crude the creedal affirmations of Trinitarian- 
ism may be, the fulness of the Christian life has by it been fostered 
and preserved. So, however loath we may be to seem to accept 
the description of a quasi-human Being who is somehow Three 
Persons and yet One, if we take the doctrine (as we must take all 
religious doctrines) in its inner and spiritual sense, which is its 
empirical foundation-sense, we shall see it as a more or less blind 
expression of a great truth that Christians can attain to the vision 
of God in three ways, through contemplation of the outer world, 
through faith in their Master Christ, and through obedience to the 
Holy Spirit in their hearts. 



The series of numbers generally used in the construction of 
magic squares are in arithmetical progression. The progression of 
the prime number series is very irregular, and therefore cannot be 
used as freely as an arithmetical series. This naturally leads to the 
investigation of the possible irregularities in groups or series of 
numbers which may be formed into magic squares. It is also 
necessary to find means of discovering these groups of numbers in 
the prime number series. 

It is the writer's aim to describe here simple rules for con- 
structing prime number squares, methods of finding the numbers 
to be used, and to point the way to the solution of a few of the 
problems not yet mastered. 


There is only one possible construction of this square and there 
is only one rule governing the series, and that is, when the series 
is written in tabular form, as in Fig. 1, the differences between all 



vertically adjacent cells must be equal, and the differences between 
all horizontally adjacent cells must be equal, but the vertical and 
horizontal differences must be unequal to avoid duplicate numbers. 
These differences are indicated by numbers at the sides of the lattice 
and it will be by these that we will identify the nature of the series 




Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. 

used in the following magic squares. We will represent these 
differences by letters, using the letters of the fore part of the alpha- 
bet for one set of differences and those of the other end of the al- 
phabet for the other set, as is shown in Fig. 2, like letters indicating 
the necessity of like differences. 

Fig. 2 is arranged into the magic by using the middle column 
and middle line as diagonals, the position of the remaining numbers 
then being easily found. The resulting magic is shown in Fig. 3. 


Any series or set of 16 numbers, when written in the tabular form 
previously mentioned, wihch gives the differences a, b, c and x, y, z, 
may be formed into a magic square by the Jaina method as follows. 
Fig. 4 shows a table of prime numbers with irregular differences. 
Four sets of the upper line of numbers of this table are arranged 

























Fig. 4. 

Fig. 5. 

Fig. 6. 

in a subsidiary square, as shown in Fig. 5, so that each line, column, 
and the two diagonals contain each of the four different numbers. 
Subtracting the initial number of the table (in this case 1) from 
each of the numbers in the left-hand column of the table, will give 
the numbers, 0, 30, 60, 126, which are to be arranged in a second 
subsidiary square with the same arrangement as in Fig. 5, only that 



the pattern is turned 90 degrees. The two subsidiary squares are 
then added together, cell to cell, to produce the magic square. A 
resulting square is shown in Fig. 6. 

In selecting numbers from the tables for the subsidiary squares, 
the column and line containing the lowest numbers should be chosen, 
but it makes no difference which set the initial number is subtracted 

A balanced series of numbers whose tabular differences are 











/67 73 #3 


Fig. 7. 

Fig. 8. 

Fig. 9. 

a, b, a, and x, y, x, may be arranged into an associated square, or a 
pandiagonal square. Such a series is shown in Fig. 7. By re- 
volving the two diagonals of Fig. 7, 180 degrees, it will prodnce the 
associated magic square shown in Fig. 8. To produce a pandiagonal 
square, we select, as before mentioned, two subsidiary sets of num- 
bers from which are formed two subsidiary squares of the pattern 
shown in Fig. 5. The numbers in the upper line should be so ar- 
ranged that the sum of the left-hand pair equals the sum of the 
right-hand pair. One of these subsidiary squares is revolved 90 
degrees and added to the other to produce the magic. A pandiagonal 
square resulting from such a construction is shown in Fig. 9. 

Another form of subsidiary square which may be used to 
produce a pandiagonal square from a balanced series is shown in 
Fig. 10, which is exemplified with arbitrary numbers. The numbers 

























Fig. 10. 

Fig. 11. 

must be so arranged that the pairs indicated by dotted lines will have 
like summations. One subsidiary square is revolved 90 degrees 
from the other and the two added together to produce the final 



square. Fig. 11 is a pandiagonal square produced from the series 
in Fig. 7, by the method last described. 


A series of 25 numbers whose tabular differences are a, b, c, d 
and w, x, y, z is shown in Fig. 12. Such a series may be formed 












































































Fig. 12. 

Fig. 13. 

Fig. 14. 

into a pandiagonal square as follows. Two sets of subsidiary num- 
bers are selected and arranged in two subsidiary squares according 
to the pattern shown in Fig. 13 ; the pattern of one subsidiary square 
should, however, be in a reversed or reflected order from the other. 
The two squares are then united to form the final square. Fig. 14 
shows one example resulting from the series in Fig. 12. 

To produce an associated pandiagonal square of the 5th order, 
it requires a series whose tabular differences are a, b, b, a and 
x, y, y, x. The writer, at present, knows of only one series which 
suits the above requirements. Its initial number is 41 and the 
tabular differences are 60, 390, 390, 60 and 72, 138, 138, 72 respec- 


















Fig. 15. 

tively. The subsidiary squares are arranged in associated formation 
and according to the pattern in Fig. 13. The solution of this difficult 
problem was accomplished by Mr. Chas. D. Shuldham, and his re- 
sulting magic is shown in Fig. 15. 

Mr. Shuldham has succeeded by other methods in constructing 



associated squares of the various orders including the 12th. 1 These 
are not pandiagonal however. 

A balanced series whose tabular differences are a, b, c t b, a and 

X 1 

f * 

/ " 





































Fig. 16. 





































Fig. 17. 

x, y, z, y, x may, by a common method, be formed into a magic 
square as follows. Fig. 16 shows a series with the above differences. 
It will be noted that the values for a, b and c are each 210, though 
the method of construction does not necessitate these like differences. 
Subsidiary sets of numbers are selected as previously explained and 
formed into subsidiary squares according to the pattern shown in 
Fig. 17. One of the squares thus formed is revolved 90 degrees 
and added to the other, cell to cell, to form the final square. One 

v / 













































































Fig. 18. Fig. 19. 

example is shown in Fig. 18, which is magic only in its lines, col- 
umns and two diagonals. 

A series of prime numbers to suit the above differences is very 
difficult to find, but the following form of series is easily found, 
and it is only recently that the writer has succeeded in discovering a 

, 1 Se. e "Associated Prime Number Magic Squares," The Monist, July, 1914, 
Vol. XXIV, No. 3. 



method of arranging the numbers of such a series in magic square 

Fig. 19 shows a series whose tabular differences are a, a, 2a, a, a 
and v, w, x, y, z. The subsidiary numbers with differences cor- 
responding to the a values are arranged as shown in Fig. 20, each 






































































Fig. 20. 

Fig. 21. 

line made up of three like pairs. The other set of subsidiary num- 
bers is arranged as shown in Fig. 21, with a full set of the six 
different numbers in each line, column, the two central diagonals, 
and in the cells corresponding to the like numbers in Fig. 20. These 
two subsidiary squares combined, will produce the magic square 
shown in Fig. 22. 





































Fig. 22. 

To construct an associated or pandiagonal square of the 6th 
order would require a table of numbers with the differences a, b, 
c, b f a and x, y, z, y, x and each set of subsidiary numbers would 
have to be of values permitting thier arrangement in magic 2x3 
rectangles. 2 It is doubtful if a series of this nature can be found, 
but, by methods previously published, the problem may be solved 

2 To construct, see "Notes on the Construction of Magic Squares" by 
Messrs. Andrews and Frierson, The Monist, April 1912, Vol. XXII, No. 2. 
For an example, try any series with the tabular differences 2, 1, 4, 1, 2 and 
9, 11, 18, 11, 9, with the illustrations on p. 306 (of the above issue) as a guide. 



by first forming an associated square and transforming it into a 
pandiagonal square. 8 


This square, like the 5th order square, may be formed into a 
pandiagonal magic by using a series having tabular differences of 




































4Ct? 2337 

/699 2S43 






Fig. 23. 

a, b, c, d, e, g and t, v, w, x, y, z. The subsidiary squares have like 
numbers running in knight paths, the pattern of one may be a re- 
flection of the other, or they may have the same pattern, but 90 
degrees apart. 


This square may be formed with an irregular series having 
tabular differences of a, b, c, d } e, g, h and j, t, v, w, x, y, z. One 
series is shown in Fig. 23, and Fig. 24 shows one pattern of sub- 






































































2843 3H9 

&Z3 3S39 















2837 3329 /0/9 




2699 2207 







Fig. 24. 

Fig. 25. 

8 See "Pandiagonal Prime Number Magic Squares," by Mr. Chas D 
Shuldham, The Monist, Oct. 1914, Vol. XXIV, No. 4. 



sidiary square, other patterns being easily found. The magic square 
shown in Fig. 25 was constructed from the above series with the 
subsidiary squares arranged according to Fig. 24, one being re- 
volved 90 degrees from the other. 


It will be noted in Fig. 24 that each line, column and the two 
diagonals contain no like numbers. The numbers are also arranged 











































32S7 6/3 / 













Fig. 26. 

so that the pattern will set upon itself, by reflection or revolving, 
and not produce duplicate numbers in the final square. In like 
manner, the subsidiary squares for the 9th order square are ar- 
























































































#&2M3 S$S7 




6277 4677 M'3 

Z337 677 

f 647 227 


//67 J&7 



/6W 2213 

/277 M39 St-3/ 











JW7 363 

#57 GO/ 








Fig. 27. 

Fig. 28. 

ranged. Fig. 26 shows an irregular series, and Fig. 27 shows a 
pattern for the subsidiary squares, one being a reflection of the 
other. A resulting square is shown in Fig. 28. 



It may also be noted that, from Fig. 26, sets of numbers may 
be chosen for squares of the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th orders, and the 
possible number of distinct squares which may be formed from 
these depends on the laws of permutations and combinations. 


Two magic squares having like summations and having no 
numbers in common have been termed "twin squares." 

Fig. 29. 

To construct twin squares of the 4th order, we select a table 
of numbers having 8 or more columns and 4 numbers per column. 
The tabular differences may be irregular. From the top line of 
numbers, select two groups of four numbers each, that have like 
summations. Each of these groups will indicate the columns of 
numbers to be used in the respective squares. Each square is con- 
structed as was explained in reference to Figs. 4, 5 and 6. 

Twin squares of the 4th and 5th orders are shown in Figs. 29 
and 30 respectively. In both examples, the above method was 

The foregoing methods of constructing prime number squares, 
by the use of tabular series, are obviously of little use for con- 



















































Fig. 30. 

structing squares of the higher orders, due to the increased diffi- 
culty in finding series of the necessary requirements. Large squares 
have been constructed, however, by other methods. 4 

4 See squares by Messrs. Shuldham and Muncey in The Monist, Oct. 
1913, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, pp. 623 to 630. 



To facilitate the finding of sets of prime numbers to be used 
in the construction of prime number magic squares, the prime 
number series has been arranged in tabular form in various ways. 

One form of table is shown in Fig. 31, which is composed of 
a lattice having five cells in each line, the columnar length of the 
table depending on the range of numbers to be tabulated. The 
cells are counted by odd numbers in natural order from left to 
right, first through the top line, then through the second, and so 
on down through the table, a dot being placed in each cell where a 
prime number falls. In some cases, the table is made more con- 
venient by extending it to form extra columns containing numbers 
which are duplicates of those in the table proper. Fig. 31 shows 
two supplementary columns which contain duplicates of the num- 
bers in the first two columns. It should also be noted that the 
numbers in the supplementary columns must be one cell nearer the 
head of the table than the numbers they duplicate. 

/ 3 S 7 9 // 13 

/ 3 S 7 S // /3 6 /7 & 21 S3 25 27 29 

























































Fig. 32. 

Fig. 31. 

At the top of the table, the columns are numbered 1, 3, 5,. . . ., 

and at the side, the lines are numbered 0, 10, 20, 30, , the latter 

numeration depending on the number of cells in a line. The value 
of a number represented by any dot, may be determined by adding 


together the index numbers at the end of the line and column in 
which the dot lies. 

Fig. 32 shows another table in which the increments between 
lines are 30; and a portion of a still larger form of table is shown 
in Fig. 33, where the increments between lines are 210. 























Fig. 33. 

To get the best formation of tables, the increments between 
lines should be a multiple of two or more different small prime 
factors. In Fig. 31, the increment is 10 = 2x5; in Fig. 32, the 
increment is 30 = 2x3x5; and in Fig. 33, the increment is 210 = 
2x3x5x7. The value of this may be observed by the resulting 
linear grouping of numbers in the tables. 

To illustrate the use of these tables, we will point out a few 
of the groups of numbers which have been used in the preceding 
magic squares. 

In Fig. 31 will be found three triads, the dots in each triad 
being indicated by a straight line connecting them. This group 
of 9 numbers is shown in Fig. 1 and is arranged in magic square 
formation in Fig. 3. It will be noted that the 9 dots in the table 
form a symmetrical figure, which indicates an associated group of 
numbers. In these forms of tables, all associated groups of num- 
bers will show symmetrical figures, unless the grouping runs over 
the edge of the table. If the table in Fig. 31 had not been extended, 
the 9-number group would have appeared irregular if kept within 
the table. 

In the same table will be found four irregular groups having 
four dots each, as indicated by dotted lines. Each group has the 
same form, though their relation is unsymmetrical. This group of 
16 numbers was used to form the magic square shown in Fig. 6. 



A symmetrical group of 16 numbers is pointed out in Fig. 32, 
which was used to form the associated square in Fig. 8 and the 
pandiagonal square in Figs. 9 and 11. 

In Fig. 33 is shown an irregular group of 9 numbers. Nine 
groups of this form were used in constructing the square shown 
in Fig. 28. 

The foregoing rules of construction will aid in the simple 
formation of magic squares with prime numbers, but these rules 
are apparently inadequate in certain instances, for example, to con- 
struct a pandiagonal 9th order square, or to form a magic cube with 
prime numbers. The writer believes that these and other problems 
can be mastered if we bring further irregularities into the magic 
square series. In the following pages will be shown some of these 
irregularities, with an introduction of the "kink." 


The "kink" was first discovered in analyzing the prime number 
square, S = 102. Fig. 34 shows this square resolved into two La 





















































= 102 

Fig. 34. 


Hireian subsidiaries of Jaina formation and a kink. It will be 
noticed that this kink involves four cells, rectangular in position, 
and of equal numeral values, two being plus and two minus. For 


Fig. 35. 


convenience of designation we will give this form the term rectangu- 
lar kink. It will be observed in the rectangular kink, that any two 
values in a horizontal or vertical line, counteract each other; there- 



fore, a rectangular kink of any plus or minus values, may be added 
to any magic square without affecting the magic summations, pro- 
viding any part of the kink does not fall in a magic diagonal. A 
rectangular kink may affect a diagonal, providing a second kink is 
added to correct the fault. Fig. 35 illustrates a few double rect- 
angular kinks by which the main diagonals of the square have been 
corrected. In the central cell of the square "D," two kink values 
are neutralized, and are therefore not shown. 

Two like rectangular kinks may be combined so as to form a 
kink that will not destroy the values of any of the magic summa- 
tions of a pandiagonal square. This form might be termed pan- 






Fig. 36. 

diagonal or octagonal kink. Fig. 36 shows a few of the latter type, 
the square "C" showing how the octagonal form may be apparently 
missing in some cases, due to the kink running over the edge of the 

Fig. 37. 


minus or plus as shown in Fig. 37. In square "A" the same value 

is taken from each line, column, and the two diagonals, which 

There are also other kinks where all the values are either 

would mean a lowering of the summations but would not destroy 



its principal magic qualities. In square "B" each line, column and 
all diagonals are affected alike, and may therefore be classed as a 
pandiagonal kink. The values in this latter kink are shown to run 
in a knight's path, which formation has suggested the term path 

When applying kinks to squares, it is not necessary that the 
same numeral values are applied to all the kinks involved. This 
















+ ,5 































Fig. 38. 

Fig. 39. 
























Fig. 40. 

is illustrated in Fig. 38, where are shown a rectangular, an octagonal, 
and a path kink. It can be realized from this illustration that a 
magic square series can be greatly distorted by the addition of a 
few kinks. 

The following example will suffice to show the constructive 
application of the kinks. Fig. 39 is a magic square containing the 
























2S 7 










































Fig. 41. 

Fig. 42. 

Fig. 43. 

series 1, 2, 3,....n 2 , constructed with subsidiaries of the pattern 
shown in Fig. 13. The numbers of this square are shown in tabular 
form in Fig. 40. The position of two arbitrary rectangular kinks 
has been designated in Fig. 39, and these kinks have been transferred 
to the same respective numbers in Fig. 40. Any set of numbers with 
tabular differences of a, b, c, d, and w, x, y, z, that is affected by 
kinks, as shown in Fig. 40, is susceptible to transformation into a 



magic square. In Fig. 32 are shown by vertical dotted lines, five 
sets of numbers which have been tabulated in Fig. 41, the strings 
of the former being arranged as columns in the latter. The selec- 
tions in Fig. 32 were made with the kinks in mind, which are indi- 
cated with small plus or minus signs. Where the minus signs occur, 
we have substituted the number five cells above in the same column, 
and where the plus signs occur, the number five cells below has 
been used; these differences of position being equal to 150, which is 
the numeral value of the kink used. This kink value has been 
added to the cells indicated in Fig. 41 which gives the numbers 
shown in Fig. 42. The numbers in Fig. 42 are now transposed into 
the magic square Fig. 43, in the same respective order that the 
numbers of Fig. 40 are shown in Fig. 39. 

It can be seen from the foregoing that unusual irregular series, 
formed by the use of kinks, may be anticipated, and in a great many 
cases, found and arranged in magic squares. The writer believes 
that the 3d order cube will be solved in this manner, which will be 
referred to in the following pages. 

Fig. 44. 


















































































Fig. 45. 

Another method of using the kink, is to construct the desired 
magic using as few composite numbers as possible, and then add 
various kinks at the places where the composite numbers occur; 
the process being continued until all the composite numbers are 
eliminated. The pandiagonal square of the 9th order will un- 
doubtedly be accomplished in this way. 

For this square, the preliminary series (containing as few 



composites as convenient) should be so chosen as to allow each of 
the two subsidiary groups of numbers to be divided into three triads 
of equal values. The numbers are arranged in quarrels in the sub- 
sidiary squares, as shown in the pattern, Fig. 44, the triads being 
placed in vertical strings. The subsidiary squares are similar in 
pattern and are placed 90 degrees apart, or, one subsidiary may be 
reflected on either of its two diagonals. 

Fig. 45 illustrates a pandiagonal square constructed by Chas. 
D. Shuldham. By the above method he has succeeded in transform- 
ing it to contain as low as six composites, which are indicated by 


To the writer's knowledge, the prime number cube of the 3d 
order has not yet been constructed. The kink will undoubtedly aid 
in its construction, and the following example will suffice to show 
the application of the kink to the cube. 

Fig. 46 shows the three respective layers of one of the various 
magic cubes constructed with the natural series of numbers, and 

























3 ^ 







+ 1 





/ ' 










#27 #43/723 





































Fig. 46. Fig. 47. Fig. 48. Fig. 49. 

Fig. 47 shows this series in tabular form. A magic cube of ordinary 
construction must have a series whose tabular differences are a, a 
and p, p and x, x, as indicated in Fig. 47, the numbers being 
arranged in the cube in the same order as any cube of a straight 



The simple cubic kink is shown diagrammatically in Fig. 50 
and has the form of a right parallelepiped. A single kink of this 
form can be added to the 3d order cube in only one way, that is, 
its eight values must fall in the eight corner cells of the cube, 
otherwise the summation of the diagonals would be altered. 

The position of a simple kink is indicated in Fig. 46, and is 
transposed to the same respective numbers in Fig. 47. 

The series of prime numbers for the cube would be discovered 
in the same manner as were the numbers in Figs. 42 and 43, that 
is, find any set of numbers in the prime number table that has 
tabular differences, as indicated by letters in Fig. 47, disregarding 
any composite numbers that may occur where the kink is indicated. 
For the plus values of the kink, a new set of values is discovered 
in the table which has the same geometric relation to each other as 
the originals. This is diagrammatically illustrated in Fig. 51. Care 
should be taken that a new set for the minus values can also be 
found in a symmetrically opposite direction. 


Fig. 50. 

Fig. 51. 

According to the above method, the writer has succeeded in 
finding, in a table of the form shown in Fig. 32, the series shown 
in Fig. 48, which contains the one composite number indicated with 
a circle. These numbers being transposed into a cube according to 
Figs. 46 and 47, produces the magic cube shown in Fig. 49. 

Combinations of kinks can be added to cubes in various ways 
which the reader can easily discover for himself. The variations 
in tabular differences and in kink formation and combinations 
would apparently indicate that the discovery of a prime number 
series for a cube is possible. There is greater freedom in the 


application of kinks to the 4th order cube, though the writer has 
not investigated beyond the 3d order. 

It also seems possible that the cube of the 4th order may be 
constructed by an extension of the method of pseudo-complemen- 

Patience and perseverance will be found to be the principal 
requirements in solving these difficult problems in prime number 
magics. Who will claim the honor of being the first to solve them ? 




ogy. By Emile Durkheim, professor of the faculty of letters at the 
University of Paris. Translated by /. W. Swain, M.A. London, George 
Allen & Unwin, 1916. Price 15s. net. 

This book must be valued from three different points of view. It con- 
tains reinterpretations of the principal social phenomena of primitive peoples ; 
it contains a theory of the genesis of knowledge with doubtful philosophic im- 
plications; and it contains what we may assume for the present to be M. 
Durkheim's definitive pronouncement on the nature and the future of religion. 
All of these strands of argument are bound together by M. Durkheim's well- 
known theory of the group-consciousness, but this theory itself must be 
assigned different values in these three developments. 

It is in the more purely anthropological aspect that this book is most 
successful. Here M. Durkheim's views must be judged in comparison with 
those of the older interpreters such as Tylor, Miiller, Lang, Frazer, Jevons, 
Robertson Smith, Mannhardt. As in most works of the sort, the author is 
most convincing when he sticks closest to the facts, when he is least meta- 
physical, and when he is engaged in refuting his predecessors. In fact, he 
is most convincing when he is showing us what the phenomena of primitive 
religion do not mean. M. Durkheim confines his observation almost entirely 
to Australia, and his theory of Australian totemism is distinctly the best that 
has yet been evolved. Why? Because he is able to show that totemism is 
not animal worship, that it is not derivative from ancestor worship, or from 
the "nature cult" ; the totem is not a name ; the group totem is not, as Frazer 
holds, a development from the conception totem. M. Durkheim's theory is 
the best because it is the nearest to being no theory at all. And when he comes 

8 See "Even Order Magic Squares with Prime Numbers," The Monist, 
Jan. 1916, Vol. XXVI, No. 1. 


to state it in positive terms, he finds almost as much difficulty as his prede- 
cessors in avoiding intellectualization. His "group-consciousness" is a con- 
tribution. But is it capable of articulate expression? "The totem," he says, 
"is the flag of the clan." This is just what some of the earlier theorists 
have said. It is a "collective representation." It has for the group-conscious- 
ness a significance quite different from the significance which that animal or 
plant has for the individual consciousness. We are not sure that this means 
anything more than that it is incapable of explanation. Totem is the origin 
of the idea of force. "Religious force is nothing other than the collective 
and anonymous force of the clan. .. .If religious force, in so far as it is con- 
ceived as incorporated in the totemic emblem, appears to be outside of the 
individuals and to be endowed with a sort of transcendence over them, it, 
like the clan of which it is the symbol, can be realized only in and through 
them; in this sense, it is imminent in them and they necessarily represent it 
as such." M. Durkheim has given reason to believe that the examination of 
the individual consciousness is inadequate to explain social phenomena. He 
does not convince us that his social psychology is anything but an admission 
of the inexplicable, that the "group-consciousness" and the "collective repre- 
sentation" are more than a definition of the limits of individual psychology. ^ 

We should have liked to discuss the theory of the "origin of the categories" 
at length ; although the exposition of this theory is much slighter than its 
place in the analytical table of contents would lead us to expect. It is open 
to the same charge of negativity, and leaves epistemology, we think, precisely 
where it was before. The theory of the nature of religion is stated in the 
conclusion. We have only space to draw attention to one difficulty. On page 
416 we read that "the real function of religion is not to make us think, to 
enrich our knowledge, nor to add to the conceptions which we owe to science 

others of another origin and another character, but to make us act." On 

page 428 we find that a religion "is not merely a system of practices, but also 
a system of ideas whose object is to explain the world." 

The whole book is intensely interesting. The translation is good, but of 
less literary finish than the original. 17 

ELEMENTS OF FOLK PSYCHOLOGY. Outlines of a psychological history of the 
development of mankind. By Wilhelm Wundt. Authorized translation 
by E. L. Schaub, Ph.D., Professor of Philosophy in Northwestern Uni- 
versity. New York: Macmillan. Price 15s. net. 

Durkheim's Formes elementaires de la vie religieuse and Wundt's Ele- 
mente der Volkerpsychologie appeared in the same year, 1912. In the preface 
to the present work Professor Wundt states the difference in method between 
the earlier V biker psychologic and this shorter book. "Instead of considering 
successively the main forms of expression of the folk mind, the present work 
studies the phenomena, so far as possible synchronously, exhibiting their com- 
mon conditions and their reciprocal relations The chief purpose of investi- 
gations in folk psychology must be found in a synthetic survey." This is in 
accord with Durkheim's theory that the religious phenomena must not be 
isolated by the investigator from the rest of the social life of a people. Other- 
wise the books of the two men are strikingly different. Durkheim's psychology 


is metaphysics. Wundt's psychology is descriptive anthropology. His method 
is descriptive and historical. He divides the stages of culture into four: 
(1) primitive man, including prehistoric man and such existing tribes as the 
Veddahs, Bushmen and Negritos ; (2) the totemic stage, including the Austra- 
lians and the Iroquois ; (3) the "age of gods and heroes," the age of the folk 
epic; (4) the "development to humanity," which includes a discussion of 
"world-empires" and "world-religions." In each of these stages he takes up 
cult, social organization, myth, art, language ; except that in the last stage the 
treatment is vaguer and these divisions are abandoned. 

In his account of primitive and savage society Wundt is in general sound, 
but unsatisfying. When we turn to totemism, for example, he gives the im- 
pression of painstaking common sense. He is certainly right in rejecting the 
"eugenic" theory of exogamy, and in combating the "conceptional" theory of 
the totem. But it is improbable that the group totem is (as Wundt apparently 
holds) an outgrowth of the individual totem. Wundt is an animist. "Totemic 
ideas arise as a result of the diremption of primitive soul ideas into the 
corporeal soul and the breath- and shadow-soul" (p. 192). The soul is re- 
garded "as a moving form, particularly as an animal, a bird, a rapidly gliding 
snake, or a lizard." We are inclined to believe that this "breath-soul" which 
totemism introduces was at first, and in fully developed totemism, much more 
indefinite and impersonal than Wundt would lead us to suppose. And he does 
not succeed in showing the relation between totemism as a social organization 
and totemism as a religious cult. 

For the rest, Wundt is less concerned with explaining motive and meaning 
than with explaining the development of forms. Thus, his account of art is 
taken up largely with the development of the stringed instrument out of the 
bow, and kindred problems; he engages in a discussion of the beginnings of 
domestication of animals. The major part of his subject matter, in short, is 
not psychological at all ; it belongs, in the earlier stages, to descriptive anthro- 
pology, and in the later stages, to the philosophy of history. And of the role 
which the sexual instinct plays in the religion and mythology of primitive 
peoples (indeed in all religion) Wundt has almost nothing to say. The psycho- 
analysis of myths, pursued by some of Freud's disciples, is surely capable of 
throwing considerable light on the primitive mind. It is possible that Wundt 
is still under the domination of a Hegelian conception of history. Although he 
criticises Hegel for applying a "logical schematism which is in large measure 
imposed upon history," his own account is very rationalistic. The book is a 
sound and valuable handbook, enriched by Wundt's ideas. But we think that 
any further advance in folk psychology is conditioned by advance in individual 
psychology. * 






THOSE who have attended the celebration of a mass 
have witnessed the most ancient survival from a 
hoary antiquity. There, in the often beautiful church, in 
gorgeous vestments, with incense and chanted liturgy, the 
priest sacrifices a God to himself and distributes his flesh 
to be eaten by his worshipers. The Divine Son is offered 
to the Father as "a pure victim, a spotless victim, a holy 
victim," 1 and his holy body and blood become the food of 
the faithful. The teaching of the Church is explicit on this 
point. The body eaten is the same as that once born of a 
virgin and now seated at the right hand of the Father ; the 
sacrifice of the mass is one and the same as that of the 
cross, and is so grateful and acceptable to God that it is a 
suitable return for all his benefits, will expiate sin, and 
turn the wrath of the offended Deity "from the severity 
of a just vengeance to the exercise of benignant clemency/' 2 
All this goes back to the time when man was just 
emerging from the animal; it is the most striking of the 
many instances of the conservatism of religion. The further 
back we go historically the more religious do we find our 
ancestors; the story of progress has been one of constant 
secularization. But there was a prehistoric time when there 

1 The Missal : Canon of the Mass. 

2 Catechism of the Council of Trent, transl. by J. Donovan, 1829, pp. 156ff. 


was nothing that we would recognize as religion at all. 
Behind the savage culture that we know, when religion 
rules the tribes with a rod of iron, there must have been 
a period when the grandsons of the ape were accumulating 
their theological ideas. Their first concept was not, appar- 
ently, that of personal gods, but that of a vast mystery; it 
was the weird or uncanny quality of certain things they 
did not understand. Along with this was the overmaster- 
ing power of tribal custom. They had the conservative 
instinct to the highest degree ; as children and savages and 
certain neurotics 3 to-day, they felt an imperative need, the 
reason of which they could not explain, that things should 
be done in the ways to which they were accustomed. The 
real reasons, of course, lay deep in the laws of habit and 
imitation ; but, because they could not understand this, they 
gave their acts a mysterious sanction, the taboo. It was 
in this, and the related idea of "mana," both of them 
founded in the sacredness, i.e., mysteriousness, wierdness, 
of certain objects and acts, that the germs of all religions 
lay. In the earliest stages the ape-men were unable to 
conceive of anything very personal and definite as god. 
Not only was the conception of Being "without body, parts 
or passions" impossible to them, but even an anthropomor- 
phic god was too abstract. Nor was this period so remote 
as we sometimes think. Just as in Latin the word sacer, 
meaning both "sacred" and "accursed," retains the old 
connotation of "taboo," so in Greek fteog was used with 
a far wider significance than we should use the word "god." 
The fact of success was a "god" and more than a "god" ; 
to recognize a friend after long absence is a "god" ; wine 
is a "god" whose body was poured out in libation to the 
gods. 4 Nor was this mere poetry or philosophy; it was, 
to the speakers, literal prose. 

s S Freud, Zwangshandlungen und Religionsilbungen. Kleine Schriften 
zur Neurosenlehre. 2d ed., 1909, 122ff. 

4 G. Murray, Four Stages of Greek Religion, 1912, p. 26. 


This earliest stage of theology was totemism, at one 
time probably universal. The totem was a specially sacred 
thing connected, by some fancied resemblance, with the 
tribe at that period Church and State in one. It was a 
sort of dreadful mascot; a thing usually an animal, that 
was felt to be akin to the tribe and that could bring both 
bad luck and good according to the treatment it received. 
Ordinarily it was treated with reverence, awe and fear; 
it could not be killed or annoyed. But at times when things 
were going badly, or there was urgent need of stimulating 
the crops on which the existence of the people depended, 
or the bravery of the men or the fecundity of the women 
which were no less essential, some more drastic form of 
government regulation of totems was felt to be desirable. 
How could the tribe absorb the good qualities of the sacred 
thing; its "mana," as some of us, or "grace," as others 
would say? 

Compared with the first mystics who brooded over the 
problem of union with the divine, Caliban was a gentleman 
and a scholar, the exquisite flower of a long refinement by 
civilization. Practically the whole content of their expe- 
rience, as far as it gave them any suggestion of union, was 
food and sex. The "god" must be either eaten, or united 
with his worshipers in sexual intercourse. 5 Both ideas have 
colored the language and thought of all religions, includ- 
ing Christianity. 

The eating of the sacred animal, or, later, of the god 
in the form of an animal, is the one with which we are at 

5 See A. Dietrich. Eine Mithrasliturgie, 1910, pages 121 and the following. 
On sexual intercourse with deity in classical antiquity, see, for instance, 
Alcestis, 839; Josephus, Antiquities, Chapter XVIII, 3, 4. The analogy of 
sex in the union with God, witnessed by a thousand "brides of Christ" (cf. 
Mark ii. 19; Eph. i. 6; v. 32) is carried out by Staupitz (T. Kolde, Die 
Augustiner-Kongregation, 1879, p. 291) and Luther (Vorlesung iiber den 
Romerbrief, Scholien, 206). On homosexual ideas in mysticism, cf. Pfarrer 
O. Pfister, L. v. Zinsendorf (Schriften zur angewandten Seelenkunde, VIII, 
1910). On pederasty as a "means of grace," analogous to the Christian "lay- 
ing on of hands," cf. E. Bethe, "Die dorische Knabenliebe," Rheinisches Mu- 
seum, LXII, 3, pp. 438ff, 1897. 


present concerned. The classic example of it is that found 
by Robertson Smith in the works of St. Nilus, a hermit 
who lived on Sinai in the fourth century of our era. 6 He 
tells how the Arabs would sacrifice boys to the Morning 
Star, but, when boys failed, would take a white camel, and 
after wounding it mortally, would suck its blood and eat its 
raw and still living flesh. Robertson Smith thought of the 
camel as a tribal god; but he was partly wrong; it was 
really only the raw material from which gods are made. 7 
The animal was devoured to get its "mana," its strength, 
swiftness and endurance, and doubtless other more subtle 
qualities. For the savage thought of all the original char- 
acter passing over with the flesh and blood. If bread could 
strengthen man and wine make glad his heart. 8 surely the 
brave, strong, sacred body of an animal could impart its 
own excellence.. 9 

The eating of an animal or in some cases a human being 
in the same sacramental way, has been found also in Aus- 
tralia, 10 in Nigeria, and among North American Indians. 11 

But the totem was not the only divine being eaten. In 
the primitive sacrament of the first-fruits, the spirit of the 
corn was thus absorbed by his votaries. Thus in Wend- 
land, Sweden, to the present day, "the farmer's wife uses 
the grain of the last sheaf to bake a loaf in the shape of a 
little girl; this loaf is divided among the whole household 
and eaten by them. Here the loaf represents the corn- 
spirit conceived as a maiden." "The new corn is itself 
eaten sacramentally, that is, as the body of the corn- 
spirit/' 12 A similar custom is found in Lithuania. 13 

"In one part of Yorkshire it is still customary for the 

6 J. E. Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, 1903, 486f. 

7 Murray, 35f. 

8 Psalm civ. 15. These words were quoted by Luther as applying to the 
bread and wine of the eucharist. 

9 J. G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, 3d ed., Spirits, 1912, II, 138. 

1 Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, 1910, I, 120; II, 590; IV, 230ff. 
11 Frazer, Spirits, I, 18ff. 12 Ibid., II, 48. i 3 Ibid., 49. 


clergyman to cut the first corn; and my informant," says 
Sir J. G. Frazer, believes that the corn so cut is used to make 
the communion bread. If the latter part of the custom is 
correctly reported (and analogy is all in its favor) it shows 
how the Christian communion has absorbed within itself 
a sacrament which is doubtless far older than Christian- 
ity." 14 

Among the heathen Cheremiss on the Volga, when the 
first bread from the new crop of wheat is to be eaten, the 
villagers assemble in the house of the oldest inhabitant, 
open the eastern door and pray with faces toward it. The 
sorcerer or priest then gives each a mug of beer to drain ; 
next he cuts and hands to every person a morsel of bread. 
"The whole ceremony," says the writer who has described 
it, "looks almost like a caricature of the eucharist." 15 In 
fact it is its crude prototype. 

The Incas of Peru also ate bread and drank liquor in a 
manner compared by the Spaniard to the eucharist. 16 

The Aino of Japan also regard their cereal offering as 
an eaten god, 17 and the East Indians, Buru, call their sacra- 
mental meal "eating the soul of the rice." 18 "In all such 
cases," observes Frazer, "we may not improperly describe 
the eating of the new fruit as a sacrament or communion 
with a deity, or at all events with a powerful spirit." In 
many cases the rite was preceded by the administration 
of a purgative or emetic, the idea being to preserve the 
sacred food from contact with profane nourishment. Thus 
the Catholics take the eucharist fasting. 19 

In some cases the sacrament of the first-fruits was 
combined with a sacrifice or offering of them to the gods 
or spirits, and at times the latter element of the rite throws 
the earlier into the shade. 20 Here, too, the analogy with 

14 Ibid., 51. 15 Ibid. 16 Prescott, Conquest of Peru, Chap. III. 

17 Frazer, Spirits, II, 52. Ibid., 54. 

19 Ibid., 83. 20 jfyjj^ 86. 


the mass is striking, as in the connection made by Paul 
between the feast of unleavened bread, "Christ our pass- 
over sacrificed for us," and Christ the "first-fruits of them 
that slept." 21 

The custom of eating a god sacramentally was practised 
by the Aztecs before the discovery of Mexico. Twice a 
year, in May and December, an image of the great god 
Vitziliputzli was made of dough and then broken in pieces 
and solemnly consumed. Acosta says that the Aztec vir- 
gins made the paste of beets and maize, which they called 
the flesh and bones of Vitziliputzli, and adored as such. 
Then, after a holocaust of victims, the priests distributed 
the dough after the manner of communion. The people 
said that they ate the flesh and bones of God. A similar 
mystic communion was held by the Brahmans in India, 
upon which Frazer remarks : "On the whole it would seem 
that neither the ancient Hindoos nor the ancient Mexicans 
had much to learn from the most refined mysteries of 
Catholic theology." 22 

At the festival of the winter solstice the Aztecs first 
killed their god Huitzilopochtli in efligy and then ate him. 
They made their idol in the form of a man, from various 
seeds, with bones of acacia wood. A priest, who took the 
name and part of the god Quetzalcoatl pierced the image 
through and through, which was called killing it. Then 
they cut out the heart, which was given to the king, and 
divided the rest among the people. The name of the festi- 
val was "god is eaten." 23 As we shall see later on, at one 
time the Christian host was baked in the form of a man 
and stabbed by the priest. 

When the Mexicans craved a closer union with the 
living god, they endeavored to attain it by cannibalism; 
making a man impersonate their deity and then devouring 

21 1 Cor. v. 7f ; xv. 20. 22 Frazer, Spirits, II, 89. 23 Ibid., 90. 


him. 24 A curious survival of communion with a god by 
eating his image is found among the Huichol Indians of 
Mexico, who have an idol carved from lava, bits of which 
they scrape off with their nails and eat. 25 

The Hindus furnish two further customs which are also 
found in Christianity. The Malas eat a goddess in effigy 
at the time of their marriage, 26 just as Catholics commune 
before wedding. 27 The Veddas of Ceylon make an offering 
to the spirits of the dead, which they eat sacramentally, 
believing that it will give them health and good luck. They 
even extend this inestimable privilege to their dogs, hoping 
that the heavenly food will make them better hunters. 28 
Even so at the "palio," a horse-race held for centuries 
twice every year at Siena, which I myself have witnessed, 29 
before the race the horses and jockeys are taken into a 
church, where the host is offered to the jockey to kiss and to 
the horse to smell. This powerful charm did not, however, 
when I witnessed the race, prevent one of the blessed riders 
from getting a bad fall. 

But not all our examples of god-eating are to be found 
among "the beastly devices of the heathen." "In Europe 
the Catholic Church has resorted to similar means for 
enabling the pious to enjoy the ineffable privilege of eating 
the persons of the Infant God and his Mother. For this 
purpose images of the Madonna are printed on some sol- 
uble and harmless substance and sold in sheets like postage 
stamps. The worshiper buys as many of these sacred im- 
ages as he has occasion for, and, affixing one or more of 

24 Ibid., 92. 25 spirits, II. 93. 20 Ibid 

27 Decree of Council of Trent, C. Mirbt, Quellen zur Geschichte des Papst- 
thums und des romischen Katholizismus , 3d ed., 1911, 251. 

28 C. G. Seligman, The Veddas, p. 130, quoted W. M. Groton, The Chris- 
tian Eucharist and the Pagan Cults, 1914, 8. 

29 I saw the race, but not the consecration of -the horses. This was wit- 
nessed by my sister, Dr. Winifred Smith, of Vassar College. So in Spain, I 
am informed, bullfighters take the sacrament before they enter the arena. 
As the danger of death is almost nil, it is probably conceived as a charm to 
strengthen them. 


them to his food, swallows the bolus .... In his youth 
Count Hoensbroech and his devout mother used to con- 
sume portions of God and his Mother with their meals." 
The practice was officially sanctioned by a decree of the 
Inquisition, in July, I9O3. 30 

It is a fact of the highest importance that the sacra- 
mental meal attained great prominence in many religions 
among the peoples of the Mediterranean during the cen- 
turies just preceding and just following the rise of Chris- 
tianity. Such meals were in many cases interpreted by a 
refined culture in a way less gross than had been the case 
earlier. They were compared to the banquets given at 
funerals in memory of the dead; they were likened to the 
common meals at Sparta and elsewhere; 31 they were com- 
munion with the god simply in that he was the host and 
the worshipers his guests. Thus dinners of a purely social 
nature were sometimes held in temples in order to enjoy 
the company of the god. 32 But the fundamental idea, 
vaguely expressed but always present, was the old one, 
that the consecrated food was the means of obtaining ob- 
session by a good spirit, of becoming identified with the 
god of the Mystery. 33 Caution had to be exercised lest 
bad demons would also enter the body of the communicant. 
So comparatively enlightened a philosopher as Porphyry 34 
assures us that demons delight in impure meats and enter 
those who use them. 

Fanatic Egypt saw nothing incongruous in treating her 
gods like cattle from whose milk or flesh divinity could be 
extracted. One of her Pharaohs achieved immortality by 
sucking the breast of a goddess; 35 another took a more 

30 Frazer, Spirits, II. 94. 

31 P. Gardner, Religious Experience of St. Paul, 1911, 110. 

32 Papyri Oxyr., I, 110, edited by Milligan, p. 97; cf. Carpenter, Phases of 
Early Christianity, 251ff. 

33 K. Lake, Earler Epistles of St. Paul, 196. 

34 Eusebius, Praeparatio evangelica, IV, 23. 

35 Dietrich, 101. 


drastic method: "His servants," we are told, "have cap- 
tured the gods with a lasso, they have found them and 
brought them down, have bound them and cut their throats 
and taken out their entrails and carved them and cooked 
them in hot cauldrons. The king consumes their power 
and eats their souls. The great gods are his breakfast, the 
middle-sized ones his dinner and the small ones his supper. 
.... The king consumes all that comes to him. Eagerly he 
swallows all their magic power. He becomes an heir of 
might, greater than all heirs; he becomes lord of heaven, 
for he ate all the crowns and bracelets ; he ate the wisdom 
of every god/' 36 

The blood of Osiris was a great charm, which, poured 
in a cup of wine, made Isis drinking it feel love for him in 
her heart. 37 When the blood could not be procured, its 
place was taken by simple wine, consecrated by this hocus- 
pocus said seven times: "Thou art wine and not wine but 
the head of Athene. Thou art wine and not wine, but the 
bowels of Osiris." 38 

From Persia marched forth Mithra to dispute the em- 
pire of the world with Christ. His warriors told how the 
hero Saoshyant would kill a bull and of his fat, mingled 
with the juice of the white haoma, would prepare a bever- 
age assuring immortality to all who tasted it. 39 That the 
bull was a divine animal goes without saying, for how 
otherwise could his flesh be the "drug of immortality"? 40 
The sacramental banquet, however, was also a love-feast, 
done in remembrance of the supper celebrated by the sun 
before his ascension. 41 It could only be partaken of after 
long initiation, and was rightly regarded at Rome as "a 

ibid., 100. 

37 Griffith, Demotic Magical Papyrus, p. 107. Reitzenstein, Die hellenisti- 
schen Mysterienreligionen und Paulus, 1910, 204. 

38 Kenyon, Greek Papyri, I, 105 ; Reitzenstein, 205. 

39 Dietrich, 102. 

40 As Ignatius called the eucharist Ad Ephesios, 20. 

41 F. Cumont, The Mysteries of Mithra, 1903, pp. 158ff. 


magical meal." 42 So similar was it to the Christian Supper 
that Justin Martyr informs us it was directly imitated from 
the institution of Christ by evil demons, who, "in the mys- 
teries of Mithra, set forth bread and a cup of water with 
certain explanations in the ceremonial of initiation." 43 Ter- 
tullian also noted the resemblance, so dangerous for simple 
souls, between Mithraism and Christianity. 44 

Attis, the Phrygian god who was born of a virgin, and 
who died and rose again at Easter time, also left his fol- 
lowers a sacramental meal. 45 His worshiper could say: 
"I have eaten from the drum, I have drunk from the cym- 
bal, I have carried the earthen dish." From pictures we 
know that this latter was carried on the head in exactly 
the style in which, in the Greek Church, the holy food of 
the eucharist was carried by the deacons. 46 Another point 
of similarity between the communions of Attis and Christ 
was the use in each of fish. 47 

The connection of fish with the eucharist, made as early 
as the composition of the Gospel of Mark, 48 and witnessed 
by inscriptions in the catacombs, 49 is another case of the 
absorption by the conquering cult of the elements of van- 
quished superstitions. One cannot, indeed, explain it, as 
has been done, 50 by saying that "Jesus found at Bethsaida 
... a local pagan cult of the widely-spread fish-god, availed 
himself of it, and spiritualized it by means of an etymolog- 

Dietrich, 102. Pliny, Hist. Nat., XXX, 1, 6. 

43 Justin Martyr, First Apology, I, 66; Clemen, Primitive Christianity and 
its N on- Jewish Sources, 1912, 261. 

44 Reinach, Cultes, Mythes et Religions, 1905ff, II, 227. 
4 5Frazer, Adonis, I, 272ff, 309f. 4 Dietrich, 103f. 

47 M. Bruckner, "Attis," Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart, 5 vols., 

48 Mark vi. 38; Matt. xiv. 17; Luke ix. 13. That this meal was eucharistic 
will be shown later. 

49 An epitaph at Rome, dating 100-130, represents the eucharist by loaves 
and fishes. M. Goguel, L'Eucharistie des origines a Justin Martyr, 1910, 279. 

50 Eisler, Transactions of Third International Congress of Religions, II, 


ical coincidence between lehem, bread, luhm, fish, and luhm f 
breath or spirit." This is too uncritical of the documents, 
and assumes too much history in them. But of the con- 
nection there can be no doubt. Dagon, meaning "fish," was 
worshiped by the Philistines (Judges xvi. 23), and Lucian 
tells us of fish kept in sacred fountains from which they 
were ritually taken and eaten. 51 The designation of Christ 
as 'Ix^u? was not, as commonly stated, an anagram, but a 
genuine case of syncretism. He was called the Big Fish and 
his worshipers little fishes. Thus an ancient Christian in- 
scription of Abercius says: "Faith shows me my way 
everywhere and furnishes my food: even a fish from a 
fountain, large and pure, which a chaste virgin captures." 
An allusion to baptism is often seen in this, though it much 
better suits the eucharist, or perhaps the ancient custom 
of administering the eucharist immediately after baptism. 
In former centuries eating fish was symbolic of eating 
Christ's flesh, just as now it is eaten by Catholics on fast- 
days, especially as a preparation for communion. 

Rome, too, did not lack her sacramental meals. One 
of the titles of Jupiter was "dapalis," "he of the feast," and 
the priest who presided at the sacrifice was called "epulo," 
"feaster." 52 At ancient Aricia, near Rome, it is believed 
that loaves were baked in the image of the King of the 
Wood and eaten sacramentally. 53 

Something has been made of the fact that the students 
of comparative religion have found the eating of a god in 
so many and diverse religions. Surely, it is said, one key 
is too simple to fit so many locks ; the day of the vegetation 
god, killed and eaten and reviving will go the way of the 
sun-god theory of Max Miiller. When one sees the vege- 
tation myth in Australia and Mexico, in Orestes and Ham- 

" Reinach, C M. R., Ill, 46ff. 

52 Dietrich, 229. 

53 Frazer, Spirits, II, 95. 


let, 54 he must be the victim of a monomania. But it is 
certain that many other religious ideas, whether true or 
delusive, the existence of gods, immortality, the power of 
witchcraft, have until recently been held all but univer- 
sally: semper, ubique et ab omnibus. Communion with a 
god by eating him is just one of those ideas which arise 
naturally in a certain stage of culture, and, under myriad 
forms, survive in a hundred different societies. A similar 
one is baptism ; the idea found in very many cults, that, by 
washing, a man can cleanse his soul as well as his body. 

So in Greece we find the pre-Christian communion in 
many forms. After the great age of art and philosophy 
there was a reaction which Gilbert Murray has called "The 
Failure of Nerve." The hungry generations trod men 
down as they had never done before ; there went up a great 
cry for respite from this world, for salvation. To supply 
this neeed arose the Mystery Religions, of which Orphism 
is a good example, promising rest for the soul and union 
with God. But they kept the old forms to a great extent, 
particularly the myth and ritual of the god torn to pieces 
and devoured by his adorers. 

Traces of this belief are found in the ancient Minoan 
civilization. 55 A god was there sacrificed in the form of a 
bull, possibly at some earlier period than we know in the 
form of a child. 56 In many an old Greek legend we see the 
original sacrifice and devouring of a divine animal. So 
common were these motivs that Greek has special words 
to designate them : onaQaj\Ji6$ for the ritual tearing of the 
animal to pieces and (bjioqpayia for the feast of raw flesh. 
Thus Acteon was a sacred stag worshipped at Plataeae 

54 Gilbert Murray, Hamlet and Orestes, 1914. "One of my friends has 
assured me that every one knew it before; another has observed that most 
learned men, sooner or later, go a little mad." He refers primarily to the 
Hamlet of Saxo Grammaticus. 

55 Farnell, Greece and Babylon, 26. 

56 Harrison, Prolegomena, 489. On the omophagia in general, 478ff. 


and torn by adorers who called themselves does; 57 Hippo- 
lytus was a horse rent by horses; 58 Orpheus was a fox 
similarly treated by "vixens," as, quite rightly no doubt, 
his devotees called themselves. 59 In Orpheus the early 
Church justly saw a prototype of Christ. 60 It is interesting 
to note that the worshipers frequently, if not always, called 
themselves by the name of the beast or god they adored. 
Thus the followers of Bacchus were called Bacchi and 
Bacchae; 61 thus the worshipers of Jesus "put on Christ." 
By eating the eucharist they became evfteoi ev XQIOTCO just 
as did the votaries of Dionysus. 62 

Zeus himself was sacrificed at Athens in the form of a 
bull. At this feast, called the buphonia, near the summer 
solstice, an ox was killed, eaten and restored to life in 
pantomime. 63 It is interesting to note that the feast Aalg 
became a personified divinity, just as the Roman Church, 
in instituting the feast of Corpus Christi day, near midsum- 
mer, has presented the mystery of the mass as an object to 
the adoration of the people. At Delphi also a bull, called 
Hosiater, or the Consecrator, and Isodaitos, "He of the 
equal feast," was immolated. 65 Plato doubtless had in mind 
one of these ceremonies when he describes 66 the killing of 
a bull in Atlantis, and the drinking of his blood mingled 
with wine. This was accompanied by an oath to deal 
justly, reminding us of the oath (sacramentum) that Pliny 
says the Christians took at their sacred meal. 67 

In the Eleusinian mysteries animals were immolated 

7 Reinach, C. M. R., Ill, 24ff. 

58 Ibid., 54ff. 

59 Ibid., II, 85ff. 

60 Harrison, Prolegomena, 474 ; Reinach, C. M. R., II, 83. 
i Farnell, Cults, V, ISOff. 

62 Lake, Epistles of Paul, 214; Reinach, C. M. R., II, 105. 

63 Harrison, Themis, 141. 

rf., 146. */Wrf., 155. 

rf., 163; Plato, Critias, 119. 67 P ji ny> e p % 95. 


to Demeter and their flesh eaten on the spot; 68 there was 
also a meal of xtxecov, a mixture of grain and water, but 
there is no evidence that this was regarded as representing 
the goddess. 69 

But of all the "mysteries" known to us, that of Dionysus 
bears the closest resemblance to that of Christ. The god 
of wine died a violent death and was brought to life again ; 
his "passion," as the Greeks called it, and his resurrection 
were enacted in his sacred rites. According to the common 
legend the son of Zeus and his daughter Proserpina was 
given by jealous Hera to the Titans, who tore him to 
pieces, boiled his body and ate it with herbs. His heart 
was taken back to Zeus and Semele, from whom he was re- 
born. 70 As this doctrine was spiritualized his resurrection 
was represented in a different way and was followed by an 
ascension to heaven. 71 Thus was inculcated the doctrine 
of immortality; Plutarch consoles his wife for the death 
of a daughter by the belief in a future life as taught by 
tradition and revealed by the mysteries of Dionysus. 

All this was enacted ritually in various parts of Greece. 
As is so often the case, the ritual preceded the legend, which 
was invented to explain a misunderstood custom, in this 
case the sacramental eating of a totemic bull, 72 or, in some 
cases, of a kid, 73 for the god inherited the ritual of both 
beasts. Thus it was celebrated at Delphi; 74 and thus in 
Crete. In all cases the animal was torn to pieces and a 
fragment of his flesh given to each worshiper and eaten 
raw as a sacrament, in order to impart to each some of the 
divine life. 75 At first this was doubtless conceived of as 
purely a physical benefit, but by the fourth century, B. C, 

68 Foucart, Les Mysteres d'Eleusis, 1914, 375f. 

Ibid., 378ff. 

Frazer, Spirits, I, 12ff ; Reinach, C. M. R., II, 58ff. 

71 Justin Martyr, First Apology, 54 ; Dialogue with Trypho, 69. 

" Reinach, C. M. R., II, 58ff. Ibid., 96. 

74 Harrison, Prolegomena, 440. 75 Frazer, Spirits, II, 16. 


the excellent moral effects of the initiatory feast are 
stressed. Thus, in a fragment of Euripides's Cretans, one 
speaks of "lengthening out a life of purity from the day 
when I became an initiate of Idaean Zeus, and a herdsman 
of night-roaming Zagreus [Dionysus], a celebrant of the 
meal of raw flesh." 76 At a later stage of Orphic theology, 
some offence was taken at the idea of killing a god, and 
the myth was changed to make the deity the sacrificer and 
communicant. Thus we find a god sacrificed to himself, 
and eating his own flesh, 77 a striking parallel to the Last 
Supper and to the mass. It was not always in the interests 
of humanity to anthropomorphize the rite too much, for 
in Chios and Tenedos Dionysus was represented by a hu- 
man victim who was subjected to the barbarous rite of holy 
cannibalism. 78 

Now all this seems to us such revolting savagery that 
it is hard to believe that it became imbedded in a religion 
of great moral purity and lofty idealism. Such, however, 
is the case. "The belief in the sacrifice of Dionysus himself 
and the purification of man by his blood," remained, accord- 
ing to Gilbert Murray, "a curious relic of superstition 
firmly imbedded in Orphism, a doctrine irrational and un- 
intelligible, and for that reason wrapped in the deepest and 
most sacred mystery/' 79 But the rite continued; for the 
wild worshipers roamed in the woods and tore to pieces and 
ate raw whatever animals they could cope with. "It is 
noteworthy, and throws much light on the spirit of Or- 
phism, that apart from this sacramental tasting of blood, 
the Orphic worshiper held it an abomination to eat the 

flesh of animals at all It fascinated him just because it 

was so incredibly primitive and uncanny ; because it was a 
mystery which transcended reason/' 80 Euripides has trans- 

76 Quoted, Kennedy, St. Paul and the Mystery Religions, 1913, 257. 

77 Frazer, Spirits, I, 23. 

78 Ibid., 24. 7 Bacchae, note on p. 85f. Ibid., p. 86. 


muted the beastly rite into immortal poetry. He thus de- 
scribes the rending of the animals : 81 

"Great uddered kine then hadst thou seen 
Bellowing in sword-like hands that cleave and tear, 
A live steer riven in sunder, and the air 
Tossed with rent ribs of limbs of cloven tread 
And flesh upon the branches and a red 
Rain from the deep green pines. Yea, bulls of pride, 
Horns swift to rage, were fronted and aside 
Flung stumbling by those multitudinous hands 
Dragged pitilessly." 

And through it all the maenads feel the divine presence, 
and adjure it, "O God, Beast, Mystery, come!" It is 
Dionysus who is the god and the bull, to whom Pentheus 
speaks, when he sees him, as follows: 82 

"Is it a Wild Bull this, that walks and waits 
Before me ? There are horns upon thy brow ! 
What art thou, man or beast? For surely now 
The Bull is on thee !" 

When the new religion was introduced into Italy, it ran 
a course for a time something like that of Christianity 
later. In the first place its votaries were accused, like the 
Christians, of celebrating holy meals followed by sexual 
debauches. 83 Later they were suppressed by the govern- 
ment. 84 That nothing might be wanting to make the paral- 
lel with Christianity, the word "sacrament/' 85 originally 
a military oath, was applied by the Romans to the initiation. 
Indeed it is certain that that word had the connotation of 
consecration long before the rise of the Roman Church or 
its founder. It was employed, for example, by Apuleius, 

81 The Bacchae, line 700ff; ibid., p. 44. 

82 Ibid., line 920ff, p. 55. 

83 Livy, XXXIX, 8, 5, quoted Reitzenstein, 88. 

s^ E. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chap. XV. He says 
that the language of Tacitus in describing the introduction and attempted 
suppression of the Christian worship, is almost similar to that of Livy about 
the Bacchanalia. 

85 Livy, XXXIX, 15, 13; Reitzenstein, 66. 


for the visible sign of the spiritual grace vouchsafed to the 
worshipers of Isis. 86 

As men became softer and more fastidious, substitutes 
were found for the raw flesh and blood which were orig- 
inally elements of their communion. Thus the sacred ivy, 
regarded as an impersonation of Dionysus, was substituted 
for his flesh, 87 and wine for his blood. 88 

The connection of wine and blood was as familiar to 
antiquity as it is to us through the eucharist. It was often 
an offering to the gods and a means of communion with 
them. 89 The blood was the life ; who imbibed it absorbed 
the spirit. A Greek word for soul, ft-ufiog, is etymologically 
fumus, the hot "steam" from the blood. 90 The Romans 
sealed their oaths by drinking a mixture of wine and blood 
called asseratum. 91 Among the Hebrews, too, wine was 
called the "blood of the grape," 5 Offerings of bread and 
wine were made to Asklepios, the god of healing. 93 

It must be remembered that this tradition of the eaten 
god was kept up by the mysteries among the lower strata 
of society only. In the world of art and letters best known 
to us there prevailed an enlightened skepticism. Not many 
wise, not many noble, were called to salvation by the blood 
of Bacchus or of Attis. The expressed opinion of a Roman 
philosopher as to the Real Presence is very much what the 
expressed opinion of a modern scientist is now : "When we 
call corn Ceres and wine Bacchus," says Cicero, 94 "we use 
a common figure of speech; but do you imagine that any- 

86 Apuleius, XI, 15, quoted ibid. 

87 Plutarch, Quaestiones Rom., 112; Clemen, 258; J. Rendel Harris, "Ori- 
gin of the cult of Dionysus/' Bulletin of J. Rylands Library, 1915, p. 119ff. 

88 Justin Martyr, First Apology, 54; Dialogue with Trypho, 69. 

89 Kircher, Die sakrale Bedeutung des Weines im Altertum, 1910, 45. 
9 Ibid., 78. i Ibid., 83. 

92 Ibid., 85. They also treated wine as blood, pouring it out at the base 
of altars. Robertson Smith, Religion of the Semites, 1894, p. 230. 

93 Kircher, 92f. 

94 De Natura deorum, III, 16, 41. Frazer, Spirits, II, 167 


body is so insane as to believe that the thing he feeds on 
is god ?" The answer then, as now, was in the affirmative. 


"The most excellent of the sacraments" 1 was borrowed 
by the Christians from the older mystery religions. That 
they attributed the institution of their rite to their founder 
was inevitable. Many of the classic myths originated as 
explanations of ritual, in the desire to show how Dionysus 
or Attis or Osiris had once done what their initiates now 
re-enacted. 2 The account of the Last Supper is but an 
etiological cult story, analogous to the Greek myths or to 
the Hebrew fable of the Passover in Exodus xii, designed 
to authorize a custom otherwise established in the earliest 
community. 3 "The Christ of Mark," says Loisy, "is like 
the gods of the mysteries ; what he does is the type of what 
happens to his worshipers and what they must do .... The 
idea and form of this institution were suggested .... by 
Paul, who conceived them in a vision, on the model of the 
pagan mysteries." 4 In fact, as soon as any institution was 
established, firmly or otherwise, it was fathered on Christ, 
or at least on the apostles. Thus the mingling of water 
with wine was said by Cyprian to have begun by Jesus; 5 
thus the self-communion of priests was wrongly said to 
have descended "as it were from apostolic tradition." 6 On 
the way the Gnostics attributed all their peculiar institu- 

1 So called by the Council of Trent, Mirbt, 226. 

2 Reinach, C. M. R., II, p. vi, says it is simply a matter of good faith to 
apply to the Gospels the same process which has been generally acknowledged 
as the correct solution of the classic myths. Some Christians now admit the 
likeness of the eucharist and the earlier theophagy. See Catholic Encyclopedia, 
and E. A. James, Primitive Belief and Ritual, 1917. 

3 So called by Heitmiiller, R. G. G., I, 25, though illogically he tries to 
extract some history from the *ep6s Xo7os. Long arguments against his posi- 
tion and that of Reitzenstein and Dietrich in Schweitzer, Paulinische For- 
schung, 152ff, and by G. P. von Wetter in Z. N. T. W., 1913, pp. 202ff. 

4 Loisy, L'evangile selon Marc, 1912, 405. 

5 Quoted in Catechism of Council of Trent. 

6 Council of Trent, Mirbt, 228. 


tions to Jesus a long and instructive essay has been written 
by C. Schmidt. 7 

But though we see nothing historic in the Last Supper, 
and are convinced that Paul founded the eucharist, it is 
worth while asking what analogous conceptions, if any, 
prevailed in the pre-Pauline community about the sacra- 
mental use of food. We shall find that there are two such 
conceptions plainly discernible ; the first that of the Messi- 
anic feast, the second that of a spiritual nourishment. Both 
these are founded in the Old Testament. There, though 
sacrifice is a covenant with Yaweh, and a communion 
meal, there is no trace of the eating of a divine animal. 8 
The Jews of the historic period had gone beyond this con- 
ception, just as had the "Olympian" religion of the lonians, 
represented by Homer. But the idea that when the Mes- 
siah came he should eat and drink with his elect, is found 
in many places in the Jewish writings, 9 and doubtless con- 
siderably influenced the Christian supper. It is repre- 
sented in the document known as "Q" by the marriage feast 
of the king's son. 10 It is also prominent in the Apocalypse, 11 
though neither it nor Q nor the Jewish-Christian epistles 
of James or Jude or 2 Peter, know anything of the eucha- 
rist. 12 Thus also Luke makes Jesus say to his disciples: 
"And I assign unto you, as my Father has assigned unto 
me, a kingdom, that ye may eat and drink at my table in 
my kingdom." 13 

7 Texte und Untersuchungen, VIII. 

8 H. P. Smith, The Religion of Israel, 1914, pp. 39f. 

9 Isaiah Iv. Iff; Ixv. 12ff; xxv. 68; Enoch, xxiv and xxv; Test. Levi, 
xxiii. 11 and Ixii. 14. Schweitzer, Quest of the Historical Jesus, 1910. 

10 Matt. xxii. 1-14; Luke xiv. 15-24. 
"Apoc. ii. 7, 17; iii. 21; vii. 16f; xix. 

12 The idea that Apoc. ii. 17 refers to the eucharist is untenable. Hibbert, 
XI, 140ff. "Q" has nothing even on the Passion. Harnack, Sayings of Jesus 
1908, 233. W. Haupt, Worte Jesu und Gemeinde-Ueberlieferung, 1913. 

13 Luke xxii. 30. It is uncertain whether the original was in Q. Probably 
not, as Matt, lacks the verse, and the word 5iaTi0e/tai is eucharistic. 


The other idea which amalgamated naturally with the 
eucharist was that of a spiritual nourishment. "Man cannot 
live by bread alone," says the Deuteronomist, "but by every 
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God/' 14 The 
manna was to the Psalmist "bread from heaven." 15 Isaiah 
offered bread and wine and milk of a spiritual nature with- 
out money and without price. 16 "Those who eat me," says 
Wisdom in Ecclesiasticus, 17 "will always hunger for me; 
those who drink me will always thirst for me again." Philo, 
too, spoke of the Logos as the bread from heaven. 18 Nor 
do I doubt that this is the meaning of the fourth petition 
in the Lord's Prayer: "Give us this day our supernatural 
[i. e., spiritual] bread." The Greek word emoiiaiog is 
translated in the Latin versions supersubstantialis, 19 fol- 
lowed by Wyclif with "bread above other substance" and 
the Douai Bible with "supersubstantial bread." One an- 
cient Latin manuscript in the British Museum reads "Pa- 
nem verbum Dei celestem da nobis hodie," 20 evidently a 
gloss, but a good one. To express so simple an idea as 
"daily" the author of Q would certainly not choose a word 
so rare that it is not met with elsewhere, was absolutely 
unknown to learned Origen, 21 and puzzled early evan- 
gelists. 22 Moreover "daily" would be tautological, having 
just been said. 23 Further, the petition for bread would 

14 Deut. viii. 3. 15 Psalm Ixxviii. 24f. 16 Isaiah Iv. If. 

17 XXIV, 29. Many other references in Stone, History of the Doctrine of 
the Holy Eucharist, 1909, i. 3. 

is Quoted Pfleiderer, IV, 23ff. 

19 In Matt. vi. 11. The translation of the same word in Luke xi. 3 is 
quotidianus , and this form is adopted in the ritual. Most modern versions 
follow this second rendering, "daily," which is also supported by F. S. Chase, 
The Lord's Prayer, 1891 ; F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Grie- 
chisch, fourth edition, 1913, I 123; Dobschiitz, Harvard Theological Review. 
1914, p. 313. 

20 E. S. Buchanan, tiriovfftos, Expositor, 1914, p. 423. 

21 De oratione, XXVII, 7. 

22 The Gospel of the Hebrews rendered "to-morrow's bread." The Acts 
of Thomas (Pick, Apocryphal Acts, 1909, 144) omitted this petition altogether. 
Cf. Cyril's Catechetical Lectures, quoted by Stone, I, 91. 

"Matt. vi. 25; Luke xii. 22. 


contradict the injunction given a little later, to take no 
thought for what to eat or to drink, but to seek first the 
kingdom. All the other petitions in this early Christian 
prayer are for spiritual blessings, and the intrusion of the 
mere bodily needs would be strange. Etymologically the 
word is compared by Liddell and Scott to 8Jtr|etav6g, but 
it seems better to derive it from em meaning "super" and 
otjoia meaning "substance," and to compare it with ejtoi)- 
Qccviog, "superheavenly," in other New Testament writ- 

The idea of a spiritual nourishment offered directly by 
God to the believer is also developed in the Johannine 
writings and in what was one of their principal sources, 
the Odes of Solomon. Written probably by a Disciple of 
the Baptist at Ephesus very near the middle of the first 
century, 24 one of these poems (XIX, iff) says: "A cup of 
milk was offered to me and I drank it in the sweetness of 
the delight of the Lord. The Son is the cup, and he who 
was milked is the Father and she who milked him is the 
Holy Spirit." 25 Elsewhere in these poems, which nowhere 
have any allusion to the eucharist, 26 milk and honey are 
spoken of as the mystic food of believers. 27 It is inter- 
esting to note in this connection that milk and honey were 
added to the first communion in the Monophysite churches 
of Armenia. 28 This would seem to indicate that feeding 
with milk was actually done as symbolic of the new and 
spiritual birth of the child. Sallustius 29 speaks of "feeding 
on milk as though we were being born again," in the ritual 

24 Preserved Smith, "The Disciples of John and the Odes of Solomon," 
Monist, 1915, pp. 161-190. 

25 Reading of Burkitt's manuscript of the Odes, Journal of Th. Studies, 

Monist, 186. 

27 J. Rendel Harris, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon, second edition, 1911, 
p. 80. 

28 Conybeare, "Eucharist" in Encyclopedia Britannica. 

29 "On the Gods," translated by G. Murray, Greek Religion, p. 193. 


of Attis. Perhaps the same thought lies back of Paul's 
simile "milk for babes" (i Cor. vi. 5). But it is plainest 
in the First Epistle of Peter, so called, in the words trans- 
lated in our Revised Version: 30 "As newborn babes, long 
for the spiritual milk which is without guile." The Author- 
ized Version in this case came nearer to the true meaning 
when it rendered Aoyixov a8oXov yd^a "sincere milk of the 
word," provided only we write Word with a capital, and 
understand it of the Logos. 

But neither the celestial bread nor the milk of the 
Logos constituted a ritual meal. It is practically certain, 
however, that the first Christian community had such prior 
to the institution of the eucharist by Paul. 31 Precedent 
for such could be found in Jewish custom, 32 and among 
the Essenes 33 and probably also in the custom of the Dis- 
ciples of John. 34 This meal was known as the "love-feast," 
and persisted in certain quarters side by side with the 
eucharist for many years. It is alluded to by Jude 35 and 
described by Tertullian. 36 Whether any traces of it can 
be found in the Gospels or in Acts, colored as these are by 
Pauline theology, is more than doubtful. 

If we read the books of the New Testament in the 
order in which they were written, the first account of the 
eucharist is found in I Corinthians, written from Ephesus 
at about Easter time, probably in the year 55. There Paul 
speaks of its institution in words (xi. 231!) which, to bring 

30 1 Peter ii. 2. On this Reitzenstein, Mysterienreligionen, 156, and on 
similar thoughts in Egyptian religions, ibid., 157. 

31 Achelis, Das Christentum in den ersten drei Jahrhunderten, 1912, I, 172- 
83; II, 78ff ; Carpenter, 25 Iff. 

32 Josephus, Ant,, XIV, 10, 8; S. J. Case, The Evolution of Early Christian- 
ity, 1914, p. 340. 

33 R. G. G. I., 38. 

34 The Mandaeans or Sabacans, the spiritual descendants of the Disciples 
of the Baptists, had a supper consisting of "bites and water." M. Bruckner, 
Der sterbende und auferstehende Gottheiland, 1908, p. 47. 

35 Jude, 12. 3 Tertullian, Apology, cap. 39. 


out their literal meaning, I translate into unavoidably awk- 
ward English: "For / received over from the Lord that 
which also I delivered over to you, how that the Lord Jesus 
in the night in which he was delivered over, took bread, 
and having blessed it, broke and said: This is my body 
which is for you. This do in remembrance of me. In like 
manner also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the 
new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink 
it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread 
and drink this cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till he 
come. So that whoever eats the bread and drinks the cup 
of the Lord unworthily is guilty of the body and blood of 
the Lord. But let a man try himself and thus eat of the 
bread and drink of the cup. For who eats and drinks not 
discerning the body is eating and drinking judgment to 
himself. For this cause many among you are weak and 
sickly and not a few sleep." 

It is an official dogma of the Catholic Church that these 
words should be taken as history. 37 The Catholics, less 
subjective than the Protestants, admit that Paul received 
a special revelation on the subject, only they say that it 
revealed to him exactly what really happened. 38 Modern 
Protestant scholars have felt the intrinsic absurdity of this 
and have argued that Paul could not have received a spe- 
cial revelation on this point, because it would not be in 
accordance with "the acknowledged principles of economy 
in the use of miracles," for Paul to receive by revelation 
what might have been learned by other means. 39 This old- 
fashioned point of view will have less weight with impartial 
scholars than the other argument advanced, that Paul uses 
the words "received" and "delivered" in his account of 
the death and resurrection of Jesus, which, it is commonly 

a 7 Syllabus of Pius X, 1907, Mirbt, p. 409. 

88 Renz, Geschichte des Messopfer-Bc griffs, 2 vols., 1901 f, I, 122. 

39 Lambert, The Sacraments in the New Testament, 1903. 


believed, he learned from the other apostles. But reasons 
have been put forward to show that here, too, Paul is 
really giving the results of his own subjective visions. 40 
These very words, "received" and "delivered," were used 
in the Pirke Aboth, i. i, of what Moses received directly 
from Jehovah on Sinai and delivered to the elders. 41 They 
were also technical terms of the pagan mysteries. 42 If we 
will only listen to Paul himself we shall learn whence he 
got his doctrine : "The gospel which was preached by me is 
not after man. For neither did I receive it from man, nor 
was I taught it, but it came to me through revelation of 
Jesus Christ. . . .When it was the good pleasure of God 
.... to reveal his Son in me, .... immediately I conferred 
not with flesh and blood, neither went I up to Jerusalem 
to them which were apostles before me : but I went up into 
Arabia : and again I returned unto Damascus. Then after 
three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and 
tarried with him fifteen days." 43 Later, Paul was kind 
enough to instruct these Jewish apostles in the gospel he 
had received, though he dared not to do it publicly. 44 
How he obtained these revelations in Paradise he tells else- 
where. 45 As he "received" the story of Christ's death and 
resurrection thus, 46 he was perfectly consistent in asserting 
"Christ 'was raised according to my gospel." 47 The whole 
thing was "God's wisdom in a mystery," 48 and this mystery 
itself was Christ: "He who was manifested in the flesh, 

40 Preserved Smith, "A New Light on Peter and Paul," Hibbert, July, 
1913. The conclusions here advanced have been accepted by Solomon Reinach 
who translated the article in French and published it in the Bibliotheque de 
propagande, Oct. 15, 1913. 

41 J. Weiss, in Archiv filr Religionswissenschaft, 1913. 

42 Clemen, 233. Galatians i. llff. 

44 Ibid., ii. 2 45 2 Cor. xii. 2ff. 4 1 Cor. xv. 4. 

47 2 Tim. ii. 8. The pericope, according to many scholars, is Paul's, though 
the whole epistle is not. 

48 1 Cor. ii. 7. 


justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached among the 
nations." 49 

The German Wrede has put us under a great debt by 
at last writing a biography of the Tarsian, 50 showing both 
how it was possible psychologically for Paul to evolve these 
myths and possible historically for him to foist them on 
the Christian Church. But this is not the place to discuss 
the whole extent of Paul's mythology; all that here con- 
cerns us is his derivation of the eucharist. A priori, the 
possibility of his dependence on the Mysteries cannot be 
denied. 51 It has been proved from linguistic evidence, 
proved to the hilt, that Paul was saturated in the current 
conceptions of the Mystery Religions, 52 prominent among 
which was that of the eaten body of the Saviour God, who, 
in human form, should live, sufTer violent death and rise 
again. He himself speaks of "the table of demons/' i. e., 
of false gods, and of "communion with demons" as anal- 
ogous to the communion with Jesus ( I Cor. x. 21). More- 
over, in this particular case the evidence of his derivation 
of his doctrine from a vision is peculiarly strong. Hardly 
any scholar, not under the double dogmatic prepossession 
of the historicity of the Last Supper and the improbability 
of revelations, has denied it. Among a vast number who 
have admitted the vision are Chrysostom, Osiander, Cal- 
vin, Gardner, 53 Conybeare 54 and Reitzenstein. 55 

In fact the force of the language is overwhelming. The 

49 1 Tim. iii. 16. The letter is not by Paul, but well expresses the primi- 
tive Christian idea. 

50 Paul, English translation by J. F. Carpenter, 1908. According to 
Schweitzer the book belongs "not to theology but to world-literature." 

51 Heitmuller in R. G. G., "Abendmahl." 

62 Reitzenstein, Mysterienreligionen und Paulus, passim. 

53 Gardner, Exploratio Evangelica, second edition, p. 453, gives references 
for the older scholars. He here withdraws his former theory that Paul de- 
rived the Supper from the Eleusinian Mysteries, but says that Paul was in- 
fluenced by mystery concepts in general. 

54 Myth, Magic and Morals, 251ff. 

55 Mysterienreligionen, 50f. 


emphatic "I," the positive statement that the doctrine was 
received "from the Lord," ought to be decisive. But this is 
not all. Note that Paul uses the same word for that which 
he "delivered over" to the Corinthians, and that which was 
done on the night in which the Lord was "delivered over." 
Prof. W. B. Smith has pointed out that this could not mean 
"betrayed," as it is commonly rendered, but must mean 
"delivered up" or "surrendered." 56 This explanation has 
now been adopted by Messrs. A. Robertson and A. Plum- 
mer, in their Commentary on i Corinthians. 57 They state 
that the words in question refer "perhaps chiefly to the 
Father's surrender of the Son, and the Son's self-sacrifice 
may also be included." Better, possibly, to say that Jesus 
was himself, as a mystic concept, delivered over to Paul 
and by him so delivered over to his neophytes. 

One more point requires exegesis before we proceed to 
the consideration of Paul's eucharistic doctrine in general. 
The words "new covenant," here used first of the cup, were 
probably borrowed by Paul from the Jewish Messianic 
sect of the Zadokites, 58 who made a "new covenant" at 
Damascus, shortly before Paul's sojourn there. The Greek 
word 8ia{H]XT] commonly means "testament," and is so used 
by the author of the epistle to the Hebrews. 59 But as it is 
the equivalent of the Hebrew berith, and was used to 
translate this word in the Septuagint, 60 "covenant" is al- 
most certainly the true meaning of the word here. 61 

What is Paul's understanding of the words "This is 
my body" ? It is certain that he took them literally. The 
"hoc est corpus meum" which has been decisive for the 

56 Ecce Deus, English edition, 1912, pp. 303ff. German edition, 1911. 

57 International Critical Commentary, p. 243. 

58 Fragments of a Zadokite Word, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, ed. 
R. H. Charles, II, 792. 

59 Hebrews, ix. 15ff. 

60 E. g., Job xxxi. 1. 

iDibelius, Das Abendmahl, 1911, 76ff. 


Catholic Church, and which, Luther declared, was "too 
strong" for him, meant exactly what it said. The reason 
why many Protestants have maintained the contrary is 
simply that they believed it impossible themselves. Of 
course it is impossible but that does not mean that Paul 
did not believe it. Kirsopp Lake puts the point aptly: 
"Much of the controversy between Catholic and Protestant 
theologians has found its center in the doctrine of the 
eucharist, and the latter have appealed to primitive Chris- 
tianity to support their views. From their point of view 
the appeal fails ; the Catholic doctrine is much more nearly 
primitive than the Protestant. But the Catholic advocate 
in winning his case has proved still more: the doctrine 
which he defends is not only primitive but pre-Christian." 62 
And again: "It is necessary to insist that the Catholic is 
much nearer to early Christianity than the Protestant/' 63 
The part of the text stressed by those who wish to make 
the rite merely commemorative is, "Do this in remembrance 
of me." Let us hear an expert on the subject: "Frankly," 
says Reitzenstein, 64 "I can never interpret these words of 
a mere commemorative meal, such as the Greek cult of 
the dead knows. The whole sacramental teaching which 
Paul adds immediately, contradicts that interpretation. 
The words can be better understood in a mystical sense 
analogous to that of an approximately contemporary nar- 
rative in a magic text in which Osiris gives Isis and Horus 
his blood to drink in a cup of wine, in order that they may 
not forget his death, but must seek him in yearning plaint, 
until he again becomes alive and unites with them." This 
then explains also the words "ye proclaim the Lord's death 
till he come." If the eucharist be regarded as analogous 
to the meals held in memory of dead friends by the Greeks, 

62 Lake, Earlier Epistles of St. Paul, 215. 

63 H. T.R., 1914, p. 429. 

64 Mysterienreligionen, 51. 


it must be recognized that these meals, also, were sacri- 
ficial." 65 

In the same sense must be read the words that he who 
eats and drinks unworthily, not discerning the body, eats 
and drinks judgment (or "damnation") to himself. The 
meaning is so clear that Mr. Scott is able to say that prac- 
tically all commentators agree that the phrase refers to 
the failure on the part of the worshiper to see that the 
bread represented the body of Christ. 66 "Behind these 
words," says Bousset quite rightly, "we catch glimpses 
of definitely sacramental feeling, the belief in the marvelous 
virtue of sacred food, for weal or woe." 67 How perfectly 
crude were Paul's ideas of this magical effect is brought 
out in verse 30, where he attributes the prevalence of sick- 
ness and death among his converts to the misuse of the 
holy food. But the benefits of the Christian mysteries did 
not go the length of guaranteeing salvation irrespective 
of conduct. Paul devotes the best part of a chapter to the 
confutation of this belief which had evidently gained cur- 
rency among the Corinthians. 68 Indeed some of them 
turned their eucharists into drunken orgies. 69 Whether 
the abominable sexual disorders among them 70 originated 
in these debauches, cannot be told. Somewhat later the 
accusations were made against the Christians that they 
united "Thyestean banquets and Oedipean intercourse" at 
their meetings. 71 

Almost all that Paul says implies his belief that bread 
and wine were body and blood of Christ. Thus ( i Cor. x. 
16) : "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a sharing 

65 Lake, Earlier Epistles, 214. 

66 Expositor, August, 1915, 182ff. He himself, however, proposes that the 
body here means "fellowship," and "failing to discern it" means being un- 

67 Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments, 1906f, ed. J. Weiss, ad. loc. 
68 1 Cor. x ; Lake, Earlier Epistles, 200 and 213. 

6 1 Cor. xi. 21. 70 1 Cor. v. 

71 R. G. G., I, 633. "Nachapostolisches Zeitalter" by Knopf. 


of the blood of Christ ? The bread which be break, is it not 
a sharing of the body of Christ?" 72 If we ask how he con- 
ceived this, the answer must be that he never raised the 
question of mode, but that he appears to have assumed the 
reality of his contention with a literalness far surpassing 
that of the Fourth Lateran Council. In classical antiquity 
symbol and reality were not separated as we separate 
them. 73 To Greek philosophy words were things, and that 
was its greatest weakness. So the personification of bread, 
wine, war and love as Ceres, Bacchus, Mars and Venus 
seems to us mere figure of speech, but to the ancients im- 
plied a good deal more. Even so a child will now say of 
her doll "This is my baby," and if you insist that it is not 
her baby, but only the symbol of one, will not be convinced, 
and will even begin to cry if you press the point. So to 
the primitive Christian the bread and wine simply were 
the body and blood of his Saviour ; words could not make 
it plainer to him than that. They just were. 

This belief of Paul implies the other one held by the 
Catholic Church that the eucharist is a sacrifice. He never 
states this with equal clearness, but he assumes it. Indeed 
it could hardly be otherwise. It is probable a priori because 
it was so in the mystery religions he knew. It is probably 
a posteriori because it can be proved that other Christians 
of the first century, e. g., Clement of Rome, so regarded it. 
But it is not entirely a matter of inference. Conybeare 
correctly points out that the germ of the idea, at least, is 
found in the words, "body, which is for you" and (in the 
Gospels), "blood, poured out for you." 74 Thus Paul also 
speaks in one breath of "keeping the feast" and of "Christ 

72 Lake's translation. 

73 Bergh van Eysinga, Radical Views about the New Testament, 1912, 104. 
Ramsay in Expository Times, XXI, 516. Harnack makes the same remark. 
"At that time 'symbol' denoted a thing which, in some way, really is what it 
signifies." Dogma, Eng., II, 144. Cf. also IV, 289, n. 2, and Loofs in Real- 
encyclopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche, 3d ed., I, 58. 

74 Conybeare, "Eucharist," E. B. 


our passover that hath been sacrificed for us." 75 Thus, 
further, he compares the holy bread with the sacrifices ot 
Israel, which gave the Jews "communion with the altar," 76 
and with the things which the heathen sacrificed to devils : 
"Ye cannot/' says he, "partake of the cup of the Lord and 
the cup of devils; ye cannot partake of the table of the 
Lord and the table of devils." 77 In this verse, which in- 
cidentally furnishes invaluable proof that Paul was famil- 
iar with the sacrificial meals of the pagan mysteries, the 
Catholics rightly see a clear support to their doctrine of 
the sacrifice of the mass. 78 The idea here is the same as 
that expressed in the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions, 
that he who worships pagan gods, or tastes meat sacrificed 
to them has communion with demons. 79 Further the words 
"This do in remembrance of me" had the connotation in 
both Greek and Latin (jroiEite^adte) of "doing sacrifice." 8 
Indeed it was inevitable that the communions should 
be regarded as the counterpart of sacrifices, both Jewish 
and pagan. 81 And in the later developments of both re- 
ligions, Paul would find prepared for him the idea of 
"spiritual and bloodless sacrifices," a phrase soon borrowed 
to denote the eucharist. According to the Testament of 
the Twelve Patriarchs the angels offer such sacrifices to 
God. 82 In the Hermetic literature the same phrase Xoyixf] 
{hxria is applied to the offering brought by Tat to his 
father Hermes. 83 The victim here thought of was the 

75 1 Cor. v. 7. 
1 Cor. x. 17f. 

77 I Cor. x. 21. Srawley, in Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, V, 544. 

78 Council of Trent, Mirbt, 242. 
II, 71. Kennedy, 273. 

80 Conybeare in E. B., "Eucharist." Renz, I, 152. Cajetan, quoted below; 
Stone I, 9. The same double meaning is in Hebrew H&^y. 

81 Conybeare, Myths, Morals and Magic, 252. 

82 Test. Levi, III, 6. 

83 Corpus Hermeticum, XIII. 18 ; Reitzenstein, Mysterienreligionen, 35, 88. 


Logos, 84 just as in similar words about Isis the victim 
offered to the goddess was herself. 85 And this victim was 
represented by the body of the worshiper, a comparison 
also made by Livy in describing the Bacchanalia. 86 All 
this serves to illuminate Paul's injunction to the Romans 
(xii. i) to present their bodies to God as a spiritual ser- 
vice. The allusion is not directly to the eucharist but is 
from a circle of ideas closely analogous to that of the sacri- 
fice of the communion. It is expressed more clearly in 
i Peter ii. 5. 

Other passages in the Pauline epistles 87 doubtless have 
the eucharistic doctrine as a background, but they are too 
vague, apart from one in Colossians, to be discussed pres- 
ently, to be of importance for our present purpose. 

It will be objected that if Paul really introduced a new 
and pagan rite into Christianity, it would have been with- 
stood violently by the Jewish Christians and especially by 
the previous apostles. 88 To this the answer is that he really 
was so opposed and on this very point. Since F. C. Baur, 89 
few church historians have realized the tremendous strain 
that existed between the Jerusalem community and the 
Apostle of the Gentiles. It became so virulent that when 
Mark wrote his gospel, entirely along Pauline lines, 90 he 
could find scarcely anything to say about Peter save that 

84 Ibid. **Ibid. t p. 91. 

86 Livy, XXXIX, 10, 7; Reitzenstein, p. 88. 

87 1 Cor. xii. 13 ; Galatians iii. 6-26 ; Romans iv. 25 to v. 9 Eph ii On 
these see B. W. Bacon in Harvard Theological Review, 1915, 505ff He" finds 
not only the Pauline epistles but the Gospels "polarized" about the two sacra- 
ments ot baptism und the supper. 

8 Schweitzer, Paulinische Forschung, Einleitung. 

89 Paul, English translation, 1876, Introduction and Part I, passim. On 
1913 737ff CltZer> Pauhmsche For ^hun g> 10 and 194. Ct further, Hibbert, 

90 On Mark's Paulinism, Loisy, Les evangiles synoptiques, I, 25, 116: 
B. W. Bacon, The Beginnings of the Gospel Story, 1909, pp. xxvff. Harnack 
Sayings of Jesus 248. The theory, originating with Papias, that Mark repre- 
sents Peter, has been exploded. 


he had denied his Lord and that Christ had called him 
Satan. 91 -When, on the other hand, the Jewish faction 
expressed itself, it was to brand Paul as "a false apostle and 
a liar," 92 and, "Balaam, who taught the children of Israel 
to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit fornication." 93 
Not only the Jews but the disciples of John at Ephesus 
and Damascus anathematized him as the perverter of their 
law, "the man of scoffing." 94 That the great schism in 
the early Church does not occupy a still more important 
place in the New Testament is due partly to the fact that 
Peter and Paul apparently divided the field into two spheres 
of influence, the Jerusalem apostles agreeing, for the sake 
of a tribute, to allow Paul to preach what he wished to 
the Gentiles. 95 It is also due in part to the complete 
triumph, after the destruction of Jerusalem, of the Pauline 
faction and to the desire of irenic historians like Luke to 
smooth -everything over and make all appear according to 
Paul's gospel from the beginning. 96 

As to the eucharist, though there was opposition, its 
adoption was made easier to the Jewish Christians by the 
fact that they already had a common meal with which it 
was soon identified. This "love-feast," as we know from 
Jude, Tertullian and other sources, continued to the second 
century at least. 97 The difference of opinion among schol- 
ars as to whether it was identical with or different from 
the eucharist, is doubtless due to the fact that the two, at 

91 Mark viii. 31-34 ; xiv. 66-72. 

92 Apocalypse ii. 2 ; the allusion to Paul has been recognized by Renan 
and many others. 

93 Apocalypse ii. 14. The reference is to the doctrine of 1 Cor. x. Spir- 
itual fornication, or idolatry, is meant. 

94 In the recently discovered Fragments of a Zadokite Work, cf. G. Mar- 
goliouth in Expositor, Dec. 1911 and March 1912. 

95 Galatians ii. 7. Conybeare, Myth, Magic and Morals, 11. Hibbert, 1913, 
pp. 748ff. 

96 Hibbert, 757. Harnack, Luke the Physician, 158f. 

97 Conybeare, "Agape" in Encyclopedia Brit. 


first distinct, were gradually merged. It is noteworthy 
that the purely Jewish Christian literature, so far as it has 
survived in the New Testament namely Q, James, Jude, 
2 Peter and the Apocalypse says nothing of the great rite 
of the Gentile Church. Nor and this is very significant 98 
does the Shepherd of Hernias, one of the earliest Roman 
Christian writings. Little later the Didache," in giving an 
account of the eucharist, carefully refrains from speaking 
of the Last Supper, of the body or blood or of the sacrifice 
of the cross. Instead of the words of institution, he recom- 
mends a simple prayer connecting the cup with the "vine 
of David." 

A somewhat stronger opposition is probably seen in the 
Epistle to the Hebrews. O. Holtzmann has recently pointed 
out in this book a polemic against the eucharist. 10< Other 
scholars 101 have seen reference to the eucharist without 
polemic, and still others 102 have denied that there are any 
references at all. The verses which Holtzmann relies on 
are xiii. Qf : "Be not carried away by diverse and strange 
teachings: for it is good that the heart be stablished by 
grace, not by foods wherein they that occupied themselves 
were not profited. We have an altar of which they have no 
right to eat which serve the tabernacle." This seems to 
agree well with the interpretation of Holtzmann, and it is 
on the whole supported by other verses in the epistle. Thus 
in vi. 2, the writer speaks of baptism and laying on of hands 
but omits the eucharist. More striking is ix. 9 : "gifts and 
sacrifices which cannot, as touching the conscience, make 
the worshiper perfect, being only, with meats and drinks 
and divers washings, carnal ordinances." The reference is, 

98 Reville, Revue de Vhistoire des religions, LVI, 26. 

"IX, 10; Gardner, Exploratio Evan., 458; Religious Experience of Paul, 

1 1 Vj CtC. * 

100 Z. N. T. W., 1909, 251-60, against him, Goguel, 219. 

101 Srawley, E. R. E., V, 543. 102 Lambert, 391. 


of course, to the old dispensation, but through it the author 
seems to hit at the new ceremonialism. Again, the in- 
sistence in x, 12 that Jesus was sacrificed once only for our 
sins seems to read almost like a Protestant polemic against 
the repeated sacrifice of the mass. The Paulinists also 
seem to be scored in the verse against those who have 
counted the blood of the covenant a common thing (xii. 29). 
The verse "forget not to do good and to communicate/' 
refers, naturally, not to communion but to giving to the 
poor, as in Romans xv. 26, 2 Cor. ix. 13. 

One other passage in Paul has been left for discussion 
until now, because it seems to refer to those who oppose 
his eucharist doctrine. I mean Col. ii. i6f : "Let no man 
therefore judge you in food or in drink, or in respect to a 
feast day or a new moon or a sabbath day: which are but 
a shadow of things to come; but the body is Christ's." 

The Synoptic gospels adopt the Pauline view entire. 
I will spare my reader the exhibition of the texts relating 
to the Last Supper in parallel columns, and the long com- 
parison of them, with the purpose of discovering what is 
historic or original in them. All such attempts have defi- 
nitely failed. Those who favor Mark and those who prefer 
Luke, 103 cannot show that there is anything but Paul in 
the lesson of the narratives. The words attributed to 
Jesus, are, says Loisy, "the doctrine of Paul and are simply 
incomprehensible as addressed by Jesus to his disciples on 
the day of his death." 104 Mark did not need to copy them 
from i Corinthians, for the usage had become established 
at Rome when he wrote. His omission of the Pauline words 
"Do this in remembrance of me" has no significance, for 
they seemed to Mark implied, or, as Germans would say, 
selbstverstandlich. Schweitzer and others have seen in 
the verse added by Mark, in which Jesus says that he will 

103 As Heitmuller, and Bacon, H. T. R. V, 322ff. 
1Q *L'evangile selon Marc, 403. 


no more drink of the fruit of the vine until he shall drink 
it new in the kingdom of God, a genuine reminiscence. 
This, however, is untenable; for the idea here is also 
Pauline, closely similar to that of i Cor. xi. 26. 

There are at least three other allusions to the eucharist 
in Mark besides the account of its institution. The first 
of these of which I shall speak is positive proof that words 
about the sacrament could be attributed to Jesus, though he 
could not possibly have spoken them. When the sons of 
Zebedee ask for the chief places in Christ's kingdom, he 
replies (x. 38). "Can ye drink of the cup that I drink of 
and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with ?" 
This joining of the cup and baptism is surely a figurative 
allusion to the two Christian sacraments. But as the con- 
tent of the pericope is a prophecy of the death of James 
and John, a vaticinium ex eventu certainly not genuine, the 
allusion to the eucharist placed in Jesus's mouth is certainly 
later than his time. 

From the earliest days it has been recognized that the 
miraculous feeding of the multitudes is a symbol of the 
spiritual nourishment of mankind by the communion bread. 
John, the first commentator on the synoptics, so took it, and 
joins on to it his version of the sacramental words attrib- 
uted to Christ. 105 How carefully the symbolism is carried 
out is shown in one narrative of Mark by the seating of 
the people in groups, as was done in the early Church, 
and his other narrative by the instructions to pick up the 
fragments. This may be compared with the miraculous 
instructions given by Tertullian, 106 and followed in the 
Roman Church to-day, to let none of the precious body of 
the Lord be left on the floor, if dropped. 

The use of fish in connection with the eucharist at Rome 

105 Loisy, L'evangile selon Marc, 191ff; 225ff, to Mark vi. 32ff and viii. Iff. 
Cf. John vi. 

1( > De corona mil., 3. 


where Mark wrote has been noticed above. The reason 
for his repetition of substantially the same miracle is prob- 
ably to be found in his use of sources, though it has been 
conjectured that he wished to symbolize the callings of the 
Jews and Gentiles respectively. 

Matthew and Luke add nothing on this subject to Q 
and Mark. In Luke, however, we have an interesting 
textual problem on which I believe I can throw light. 
Some manuscripts, 107 headed by D, omit the words (xxii. 
I9b-2o) : "given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. 
And in like manner the cup, after supper, saying, This cup 
is the covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you/' 
The textual evidence together with "the suspicious re- 
semblance of this passage to i Corinthians" led Westcott 
and Hort to bracket it as an interpolation. The words are 
evidently taken from Paul, but as it is just as possible 
that Luke borrowed them as that his copyist did, and as 
they are present in most of the decisive authorities, they 
are retained by Von Soden and regarded as genuine by 
Jiilicher, Cremer, Clemen, Schweitzer, Lambert and oth- 
ers. 10 ' If, then, they were in the original, why does the 
Codex Bezae (D) omit them? The answer is this: The 
reviser of D (or rather, probably the scribe of an earlier 
manuscript he copies), was from Asia Minor, 109 probably 
from Ephesus, at which place there was the strongest op- 
position both to Paul and to his eucharistic doctrine. The 
Disciples of John there, as is proved by the Odes of Solo- 
mon 110 and the Johannine writings, presently to be dis- 
cussed, refused to take the eucharist bread or to recognize 
it as the flesh of Christ. Even as late as the second cen- 

107 Besides D, the old African and Italic Latin versions omit them, and 
Tatian changes the order of words. 

108 Lambert, 245. 

109 Ramsay, Church in the Roman Empire, ISlff. 

110 Preserved Smith, "The Odes of Solomon and the Disciples of John," 
Monist, April 1915, pp. 186f. 


tury the Docetae of Asia Minor, probably an offshoot of 
the Johannites, took the same position. 11 Now the re- 
viser of the manuscript represented by D and the Latins 
did not dare to omit the story of the institution as a whole, 
but he did delete the words implying a sacrifice and the 
command to repeat. Like the Fourth Evangelist later he 
hoped thus to keep the spiritual lesson and to avoid the 
ritual repetition. 

Acts occasionally mentions the celebration of the Sup- 
per (ii. 42; xx. 7), but as it adds nothing to our knowl- 
edge, save to show that it and Paul's interpretation of it 
were thoroughly established in the community and at the 
late date at which Luke wrote, the book need not be further 

Of the New Testament writings there remain to be 
discussed only the Gospel and First Epistle of John. On 
their teaching the most extraordinary diversity of opinion 
has prevailed. Some scholars have denied that the Gospel 
refers to the eucharist at all. Others have seen in it 
only an intensification and emphasis on the sacramental 
theory of Paul. Many think that John "spiritualizes" 
Paul's teaching, though without saying definitely how. 
The data are these: (i) John omits the account of the 
Last Supper and substiutes for it foot- washing, with a 
probable allusion to baptism. (2) In the sixth chapter 
he joins to the narrative of the miraculous feeding a long 
discourse of Jesus on the necessity of eating his flesh and 
drinking his blood : "I am the bread of life. He who com- 
eth unto me shall never hunger and he who believeth on 
me shall never thirst." "I am the living bread coming 
down from heaven. If any one eat of this bread he shall 
live forever. For the bread which I shall give him is my 
flesh which is for the life of the world. Then the Jews 
contended with one another saying, How can this man 

111 Ignatius ad Smyrn., 6. 


give us his flesh to eat ? Then said Jesus to them, Verily, 
verily I say unto you, if ye eat not the flesh of the Son of 
man and drink not his blood, ye have not life in your- 
selves. The feeder on my flesh and the drinker of my 
blood hath life eternal, and I shall raise him up at the 
last day. For my flesh is true nourishment and my blood 
is true drink. The feeder on my flesh and the drinker of 
my blood remaineth in me and I in him." 

Knowing the methods of the Fourth Evangelist, his 
total independence of historical tradition and his custom 
of writing into the narrative the lessons he thought needed 
in his own day, it is easy to see in this debate, nowhere 
recorded in the Synoptics, the controversy actually in 
process at Ephesus, between the Pauline Christians on one 
side and the Jewish and Baptist parties in the Church on 
the other. (3) It is possible that there is some allusion 
to the eucharist in the story of the wedding at Cana, but, 
if so, it is vague and not to our purpose. 11 ' The water and 
the blood issuing from Jesus's side at the passion have been 
interpreted as referring to the two sacraments. It is quite 
possible that the parable of the true vine (John xv. iff) 
situated as it is in Jesus's last discourse to the disciples, is 
an allusion to the eucharist cup, suggested by Mark xiv. 
25. It is noteworthy that the prayer of consecration in 
the Didache connects the cup with the vine of David. 

How shall we interpret these seemingly conflicting 
data? Why did John refuse to regard the Last Supper 
as historical, while embodying the doctrine of the flesh 
and blood of Jesus in such strong language ? Did he omit 
the Last Supper simply as he omitted the baptism of Jesus 
and as he says that the master baptized not, but his dis- 
ciples, as though his Christ were superior to sacramental 

112 John ii. Iff. His sources were Mark ii. 18-22 ;Matt xxii. 1-14; Luke 
xiv. 15-24, and IV Ezra X. Similar tales were told of Dionysus turning 
water into wine at his epiphany. This pericope was in ancient rituals a lesson 
for Epiphany. Bacon, H. T. R. } 1915, p. 115. 


acts? 113 Surely not. His Jesus, who weeps and suffers 
hunger and washes his disciples' feet, is not above eating 
with them a ritual meal. Or does he transpose the insti- 
tution of the eucharist to the earlier account of the feeding 
of the multitudes to show that Jesus's eating with his dis- 
ciples was no new thing at his death, but that his every 
meal with them was consecrated? This view 114 also seems 
insufficient, and at variance with certain verses in the dis- 
course quoted above (John vi). 

The solution of the enigma, I am persuaded, will be 
found in the situation at Ephesus where the evangelist 
wrote. There, as we know (Acts xviii. igff) was a church 
founded by Paul, in which, naturally, the eucharist would 
be celebrated. But there was also a powerful element in 
the church drawn from the Disciples of John, 115 who had 
no eucharist, and who would doubtless oppose it, just as 
the Bohemian Brethren absorbed into Protestantism for 
long kept their own distinctive tenets. But we have al- 
ready proved from Hebrews, from Colossians and from 
the D recension of Luke xxii, that there was opposition 
to the eucharist, and especially at Ephesus. Now, though 
the sources of the Fourth Gospel are many the Synoptics, 
the Apocalypse, Philo, the Hermetic literature, and of 
course the Jewish scriptures the ones from which he 
drew most heavily for his doctrine were the Pauline epis- 
tles and Odes of Solomon, 116 these latter written at Ephesus 
by the Disciples of John, and consequently full of allusions 
to baptism, but with none to the eucharist. Unhampered 
as he was by any trace of independent tradition, 117 he felt 

113 John iv. 2. Schweitzer advances this view, Paulinische Forschung, 

114 Bacon, 434f, maintains it. 

115 Acts, xix. Iff. That the Disciples would have no eucharist is obvious 
and is also proved by the Odes of Solomon. Monist, April, 1915, p. 186f. 

116 So Harnack and Rendel Harris. Monist, 1915, pp. 171ff. 

117 This fact, still disputed, has been pretty well established by Loisy, 
Bacon and others. 


free to deal with the facts as he liked. As a follower of 
Paul he wished to preserve and emphasize the great spirit- 
ual lesson which he found in the words about eating the 
flesh and drinking the blood of Jesus. On the other hand 
he could not ignore the Disciples of John and their heirs, 
supported as they were by Jewish Christians, who abom- 
inated the supper as a heathen rite. Whether the evan- 
gelist had once himself been a disciple of the Baptist re- 
mains uncertain, 118 but that he did write with them con- 
stantly in his eye has long been recognized. 119 He there- 
fore rejected the founding of the eucharist, and substituted 
for it a washing reminiscent of the one sacrament uni- 
versally accepted, while at the same time conserving the 
lesson that Jesus is the bread of life. Not without reason 
does his language hark back to the Jewish Scriptures, to 
the Apocrypha and to Philo, 120 in showing that the Logos 
is the true nourishment of the soul. "Except ye eat the 
flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood," says he, "ye 
have no life in you." By this he would not have under- 
stood in the old, literal way: "It is the spirit that quick- 
eneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak 
unto you, they are spirit and they are life" (John vi 63). 

How then shall we explain the emphasis on the "water 
and the blood," i. e., the sacraments of baptism and the 
eucharist, in John xix. 34 and i John v. 6? It has been 
proposed to regard the "blood" here simply as an allusion 
to the passion. It is probable that the Docetae, 121 at whom 
these verses may have been aimed, denied the passion, and 
it has been shown that it would be most appropriate to 
connect the blood of martyrdom with the water of baptism, 

118 Gardner, Ephesian Gospel, 87f. 

119 Baldensperger, Der Prolog sum vierten Evangelium, 1897 ; Dibelius, 
Johannes der Taufer, 1911; B. W. Bacon, Fourth Gospel, 290. 

120 Psalm Ixxviii. 4 ; Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 29 ; Pfleiderer, Primitive Chris- 
tianity, 1906ff, IV, 23 Iff. Probably also to the supersubstantial bread of the 
Lord's prayer. 

121 This explanation offered by Bacon. 


for the one might well follow the other. 122 Such an ex- 
planation would obviate all difficulties, but I am inclined, 
nevertheless, to see at least a secondary allusion to the 
eucharist in the "blood." If this is true, there is certainly 
a contrast to the teaching of the earlier chapters of the 
gospel. It can be instantly seen by comparing John iii. 5 
with i John v. 6. The first passage reads : "Except a man 
be born by water and the spirit, he cannot enter the king- 
dom of God." The second: "This is he that cometh by 
water and blood and spirit, Jesus Christ. . . .Because these 
three are witnesses, the spirit and the water and the blood." 
In the first chapter of the gospel, then, the spirit and bap- 
tism were all that was necessary, but in the epistle and in 
the later, probably subsequently added, verse in the gospel, 
the eucharist is joined with them as one of the means of 
salvation. Though I am no friend of the hypothesis of 
interpolation, by which many wild theories have been 
proved, I have unusually strong reason for claiming that 
this verse is subsequently added. Bacon, 123 among other 
authorities, recognizes that the whole of chapter xxi, and 
that John xix. 35 are added by a later editor. The evi- 
dence for the last verse is overwhelming; it reads: "And 
he that hath seen hath borne witness, and his witness is 
true, and that man knoweth he speaketh the truth that 
ye may believe." The introduction without antecedent of 
"that man," exelvog, ille, would be simply incomprehen- 
sible in the original narrative. The word points to the 
author of the gospel as seen by some one else. The solemn 
asseveration, as to a new and disputed fact, also strongly 
indicates editorial revision. Now it is absurd to regard 
the asseveration, and that alone, as interpolated. Some- 
thing else must have been introduced with it, something 

122 So R. Winterbotham in Expositor, 1911, 62ff, and J. Denney, ibid., 1908, 
416ff. The latter regards the "blood" as referring primarily to the passion and 
martyrdom, secondarily to the eucharist. 

"3R 191. 


to which the asseveration applies, and this can only be the 
previous verse about the water and the blood. This, then, 
was added by the editor, who introduced it from the epistle. 
If we regard the gospel and epistle as by the same hand, 
we are then reduced to the necessity of reconciling the 
omission of the eucharist in one to its recognition in the 
other document. The true explanation has been suggested 
by Percy Gardner 1124 "In old age, when he wrote the 
epistle, the Evangelist seems to have relied, as was natural 
to a man of failing powers, somewhat more on the visible 
rites of the Church." It is remarkable that we find ex- 
actly such a change in Luther's dogma, and that completed 
in ten short years. In 1520 he put the essence (res) of the 
sacrament in the Word, and stated that the actual rite was 
not necessary to salvation; in 1530 he was ready to affirm 
that the real essence (res) of the sacrament was in the 
elements, and that participation in them was absolutely 
indispensable to secure their benefits. So with the Evan- 
gelist; in his younger years the spiritual lesson was all 
important ; later, as the rite became more firmly established 
and as he became more ecclesiastical, he accepted the com- 
munion as essential. 

Most of the Gnostic sects known to us adopted the 
eucharist, with its ideas of immolation and theophagy. 125 
Many of their dogmas were probably founded directly on 
mystery cults with which they were connected in pre-Chris- 
tian times. How easily pagan ideas amalgamated with 
Christian is seen in the eucharistic prayer in the Acts of 
Thomas : 126 "Come, communion of the male. . . . Come, thou 
that disclosest secrets and makest manifest the mysteries. 
.... Come and communicate with us in thy eucharist/' 

124 Ephesian Gospel, 213. 

125 A good account of their dogmas in W. M. Groton, pp. 35 ff. 

126 Chaps, xlix and 1 ; Pick, Apocryphal Acts, 268f. 


Here emerge the two primitive conceptions of the mysteries 
and of communion with the divine after the manner of sex. 

Clement of Rome in the first century calls the com- 
munion an offering and a sacrifice. 127 By making it the 
"liturgy" par excellence of the Church, he puts it in the 
place of the highest form of divine worship which it has 
ever since held in the Roman Church. 

Ignatius also thinks of it as a sacrifice, and as charged 
with a magical quality for keeping both body and soul 
deathless. "The bread," says he, "is the medicine of im- 
mortality, the antidote preserving us that we should not 
die, but live for ever in Jesus Christ." 128 This is but a 
literal interpretation of John's teaching by a younger con- 
temporary. Ignatius also states plainly that the body is 
the same as that which suffered on the cross. 129 

According to Justin Martyr, "God, anticipating all the 
sacrifices offered in his name by the command of Jesus 
Christ, namely the eucharist of the bread and the cup, 
which are offered by Christians in all places throughout 
the world, testified that they are well-pleasing unto him." 130 
He also speaks of the eucharist as becoming the body and 
blood of Christ through the prayer of the Logos. To 
him also it is a memorial of the passion and a magical 
charm for giving men immortality. His comparison of 
this sacrament with that of Mithra has already been men- 
tioned. In this connection it is interesting to note that 
with him and quite a number of other early Christians, 
the elements were not bread and wine but bread and 
water. 131 Paul speaks only of the "cup," without denoting 

127 Ad Cor. 40, 44 ; cf. 36. Srawley, Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, 
V, 546; Encyclopedia Britannica, IX, 868; Goguel, 224; Lambert, 412. 

*Ad Eph., 20. Srawley, 546. 

129 Ad. Smyr., 6; cf. Ad Rom., 7. 

130 Dialogue with Trypho, 117. First Apology, 66, 67. Srawley, 547; Lam- 
bert 415. 

131 Harnack, Brot und Wasser. T. & U. t VII, 2, 1891. 


its contents, but both he and the gospels imply that it was 
wine. 132 

It was the insistence on the element of sacrifice that 
gave rise to the rumors in the Roman world of "Thyes- 
tean banquets." Early in the second century Pliny 133 felt 
it necessary to inform Trajan that the meal partaken of 
by the Christians was of harmless and ordinary food, and 
that he found nothing criminal in it but only a perverse 
and excessive superstition. In the same letter he uses 
the word sacramentum of the morning service, but does 
not connect it with the supper which was eaten later in the 
day. The word, which we have seen was already used of 
the rites of Bacchus and Isis, became the regular trans- 
lation of the Greek "mysterium," the initiation into holy 
secrets and magical practices characteristic of all the "mys- 
tery-religions," including Christianity. The word is found 
in the Septuagint only in the latest books, Daniel and the 
Apocrypha, when the Hellenization of the Jews was well 
under way. 

Though Clement of Alexandria does not emphasize 
the sacrificial aspect of the eucharist, he is familiar with 
the conception of sacrifice as originally a feast upon a 
victim, and neither the idea of the Real Presence nor that 
of transubstantiation are foreign to his thought. 134 

Irenaeus call the bread and wine an offering to God 
the Father of the body and blood of his Son, and says 
that it is efficacious for the body as well as for the soul. 
When consecrated, the bread is no longer bread but of 
two elements, a heavenly and an earthly, and prepares 
our bodies for the resurrection. He compares it to the 
sacrifices of the Jews to its advantage, as being offered 
by children, not servants. 135 

132 1 Cor. xi. 21 ; Mark xiv. 25 etc. 133 Ep., 96. 

134 Tollington, Clement of Alexandria, 1914, II, 155. 

135 Adv. Haer. f IV. xviii, 4. De corpore et sanguine, V, ii, 2. Srawley, 547. 


As has been shown, the fundamental idea in eating 
the God was to become like him. This was carried so far 
in the pagan religions, that the initiates not only imitated 
what the god was fabled to have done, but were actually 
called by his name. The adorer of Bacchus became a 
Bacchus; the follower of Attis was called Attis. 136 This 
dogma could not be better expressed than it was by Cyril 
of Jerusalem, who, in his Fourth Mystagogic Catechism 
teaches: "By taking the body and blood of Christ, you 
become one body and one blood with him. For thus we 
become Christ-bearers (xQiatoqpoQOi) by his body and blood 
being digested into our members." 137 The language of 
ritual again became the mother of legend, and the myth 
of St. Christopher was born. 

The "highest" doctrine of the sacrifice of the com- 
muion is found in Cyprian near the middle of the third 
century. "The priest," says he, "imitates what Christ 
did, and offers then in the Church to God the Father a 
true and complete sacrifice," 1 8 and again: "The passion 
of the Lord is the sacrifice we offer." 139 

Cyprian's idea of the effect of the magic food was that 
of the savage medicine-man. He tells in one place of a 
little girl who had eaten some meat sacrificed to idols and 
thus became possessed by devils. When she came to the 
Lord's table, she accordingly refused the consecrated cup 
and fell into fits. 14< A similar magical effect is attributed 
to the host by the Acts of Thomas. 141 A youth who had 
murdered his mistress partook of the eucharist and im- 
mediately had his hand withered. The Apostle forthwith 
invited him to confess his crime, "for," said he, "the 

136 As in Catullus's famous poem of that name. 

137 Quoted, Dietrich, 107. 

iss Ep. LXVIII, 14. Mirbt, 24b. 
" Ibid., 17. 

140 De lap sis, cap. 25. Dietrich, 107. 
"i Cap. XLVIII. 


eucharist of the Lord hath convicted thee." It is well to 
bear in mind that the magic of the host is not a medieval 
invention but as primitive as the rite itself. 

The Didascalia, in the second half of the third century, 
speaks of "offering the acceptable eucharist, which is the 
symbol (OVTITUJTOV) of the royal body of Christ." 142 

In the next age the Apostolic Constitutions call the 
bread and wine "symbols (avrirujta) of his precious body 
and blood" and an "unbloody sacrifice," celebrated to com- 
memorate the Lord's death. 142 

Eusebius of Caesarea says that Christians are "fed 
with the body of the Saviour," and that Christ delivered 
to his disciples the symbols of his divine incarnation, 
charging them to make the image of his own body. 143 (Are 
we listening to the priest of Aricia and his image of the 
Wood-King baked in bread?) Here and elsewhere the 
words for image (eixcov, tigura), imply the real presence. 

Tertullian's fetishism made him dread any disrespect 
offered to the magic food. He speaks of "handling the 
Lord's body" and of "offering violence to it." The bread 
he also calls the "figure of the body," and "that which 
represents the body," without, however, implying that the 
body is absent. Rather than saying that he began to 
confound the bread with the body, it is truer to see in him 
the first to distinguish them. 144 

In many writers of the period of Rome's decline and fall 
the sacrificial idea comes to dominate all others. Strange, 
this fascination of blood, that ganz besonderer Saft, f or the 
savage and religious mind! Only by some horrible cru- 
elty and suffering inflicted, generally against their wills, 
on others, can man escape from the bogies of his own 
conscience! Like other Christian doctrines, that of the 

"2 Srawley, E. R. E., v. 549. 

143 De Solemnitate Pasch., 7. 

144 Srawley, E. R. E., v. 549. 


atonement is rooted in the primeval practice of the savage 
in cursing some senseless object, or killing some harmless 
animal or innocent person, in order to get rid of his own 
sins on vicarious shoulders. 145 Some such idea haunted 
the mind of Athenagoras when he speaks of "the bloodless 
sacrifice of the Christians," as the counterpart of the bloody 
sacrifice of the cross. Thus does Cyril of Jerusalem dilate 
upon the "holy and most awful sacrifice," "Christ immo- 
lated for our sins to propitiate God who loves men," offered 
in the eucharist. Thus Chrysostom gloats over "the Lord 
lying slain, and the priest standing over the victim pray- 
ing, all reddened with that blood." 146 

Before closing this section on the primitive Church, it 
is pertinent to notice one question which early came up, 
as to the ministration of women in the eucharist. From the 
first, women had taken a part in divine service and had 
prophesied with the men. Such were the daughters of 
Philip the Evangelist, from whom, according to Harnack, 147 
Luke derived much of his peculiar material. But St. Paul, 
who commonly lent his influence to the worst social op- 
pressions of the age, 148 in this also advocated the sub- 
jection of women, 149 thus adding to the burden of that 
much suffering sex. As, however, the practice continued 
here and there, we meet with later efforts to deal with 
it. The most interesting of these is in the Apostolic 
Church Order. 150 It is but one instance of many to show 
the inveterate tendency of men to refer back to authority, 
and, if there is not a command of God covering the sub- 
ject they desire to deal with, to invent one. Just as Paul 

145 J. G. Frazer, The Scapegoat. 

148 De Sacerdot., VI, 4; Srawley, E. R. E., 551f. 

147 Luke the Physician. 

148 E. g., passive resistance to tyranny, Romans xiii. Iff, and slavery, 1 
Cor. vii. 20f. 

148 1 Cor. xiv. 34ff ; cf. 1 Tim. ii. 12. 

150 Bauer, Das Leben Jesu im Zeitalter der neutestamentlichen Apocryphen, 
1909, 165. Pick, Paralipomena, 68b. 


fabled that Christ had instituted the Supper, so the later 
author felt free to write history as follows: "The Apostle 
John said: 'You have forgotten, brethren, that when the 
master demanded the cup and the bread and consecrated 
them with the words, That is my body and blood, he did 
not allow them [sc. Mary and Martha] to come to us.' 
Martha said, It was on account of Mary, for he saw her 
smile/ Mary said : 'I did not laugh ; it is rather as he said 
to us before that weakness should be saved by strength/ " 151 
This obvious invention did not entirely suppress the 
abuse at which it was aimed, or else the practice cropped 
up afresh from time to time. The service of women at the 
altar was condemned by a council of Nimes in 394, but still 
persisted in certain parts of France. In the sixth century 
in Brittany women called "conhospites" offered the blood 
of Christ to the people and carried the elements around 
on portable altars. This "unheard-of superstition" was 
denounced and suppressed by the bishops Licinius of Tours 
and Melaine of Rennes. It is continued elsewhere, how- 
ever, until the ninth century. 152 It is profitable to compare 
with this the service of maidens at the grail, an ancient 
vegetable sacrifice which finally became identified with the 
eucharist. 153 



151 1. e., woman by man. 

152 Monumenta Germ. Hist., Leges, I, cap. 2, p. 42. I owe this reference 
to Miss R. J. Peebles. Other examples of women who dispensed the eucharist 
in the early Church or in heretical sects given in article "Frauenamter," in 
R. G. G. ; Lydia Stocker, Die Frau in der alten Kirche, 1907 ; L. Zscharnack, 
Der Dienst der Frau in den ersten Jahrhunderten der christlichen Kirche, 
Gottingen, 1902. 

iss Peebles, The Legend of Longinus, 1911, 209. 


ANEW era is dawning upon the world an era in 
which religion will become the deepest science, and 
science in its truest sense religion. The deeps of existence, 
psychical as well as physical, are being sounded, and the 
recent conquests in the domain of science unfold prospects 
of a mastery of nature such as never before occurred to 
man to modern man, at least in his wildest dreams. 
What is the domination to be? Are we to witness merely 
a fresh following of the old road, with telescope, spectrum 
analysis and chemist's balance for the instruments of ad- 
vance; or is it the power of mind over matter, directly 
exerted, which is to be the new solvent of nature's prob- 
lems, the new agency for bending nature to man's will, for 
remoulding it into harmony with his highest needs and 

The question summons us at once to a brief considera- 
tion of what we mean by matter and by mind. Are they 
totally different things ? The whole trend of modern thought 
is in the direction, if not of identifying them with one 
another, at least of bringing them closer and closer to- 
gether. The most salient feature of modern progress is 
the steady shifting of the emphasis from the material to 
the mind values in the broadest sense of the word. We 
cognize objects only in terms of our conscious states; in 
the last analysis all material values are found to be mind 


values. The world as we know it presents itself in two 
aspects the outside realm of matter, consisting of objects 
revealed to us through our senses, and the inner realm of 
feeling and thought which is without anything like loca- 
tion in space. 

Take the outer world and see how far we can trace it. 
I hold an apple in my hand. What do I know of it ? I know 
its color, its form, its hardness, its taste, its odor in a 
word, I know what my five senses tell me. Remove eye, 
hand, tongue, and these qualities will become non-existent, 
being conditioned by the nature of my organism. Pro- 
fessor James in his transmission theory maintains that our 
organism, instead of revealing to us the nature of the 
universe, limits our knowledge of it by our very constitu- 
tion to what we acquire with our five senses. We cognize 
only the things for the perception of which we have cor- 
responding organs. To illustrate : a colored pane of glass 
say red transmits only red rays, shutting out many 
other vari-colored rays, which, although they cannot be 
transmitted by the red pane, exist nevertheless. "In my 
Father's house are many mansions." 

Matter is not the ultimate. Beneath matter, science tells 
us, is ether the medium which pervades all space the 
interstellar immensities as well as the infinitesimal inter- 
stices between material atoms. Some modern physicists 
have compared it to a jelly; others describe it as denser 
than steel ; all agree that it is incompressible and is in some 
way the reservoir of energy for all material phenomena. 
The existence of ether is not merely speculation, it is a 
reality; and Sir Oliver Lodge calls it the most important 
reality with which we are acquainted. The senses tell us 
nothing of it, but without ether such phenomena as light, 
electricity, magnetism, radio-activity, would be impossible. 
It is through this continuous substance that light passes 
to us from the sun, stars and other luminous objects; with- 


out the undulations which it transmits the whole world of 
objects which we now see in their shapes, colors and dis- 
tances, would be invisible. Not only in this way is ether 
the vehicle of energy flowing in to us from without it is 
the very source of the things to which we have access 
through our sense organs. Subject to some sort of stress, 
it differentiates itself into matter; in all probability the 
so-called electrons, which unite to form atoms, are knots 
or rings formed in and of the ether itself. 

Such is the outer world. What now of the inner, which we 
know only as states of consciousness ? We know it neither 
as matter nor as motion, but we find it intimately connected 
with brain, and as the brain is made up of molecules, these 
must vibrate during the activities of thought. We here 
have the link connecting the two worlds which at first sight 
would seem to be so remote from each other. Matter we 
know through our senses; matter is evolved from ether; 
ether we do not know ; our thought we know. Our thought 
is not matter, but it is accompanied by vibrations in the 
ether. Thought is connected with matter through our 
bodily frame; it is not less distinctly connected with ether 
through its modus operandi. Meanwhile that which logic 
asserts is fast becoming the favorite conclusion of science. 
Not only naturalists like Naegeli and Haeckel maintain 
that matter is endowed with elementary feeling; the phys- 
icists also incline to this view, and Sir Oliver Lodge in his 
book on The Ether of Space writes : 

"The universe we are living in is an extraordinary 
one, and our investigation of it has only just begun. We 
know that matter has a psychical significance, since it can 
constitute brain, which links together the physical and the 
psychical worlds. If any one thinks that ether, with all its 
massiveness and energy, has probably no psychical sig- 
nificance, I find myself unable to agree with him." 


And Camilla Flammarion sums up the argument of his 
book on Mysterious Psychic Forces in the words : 

"The phenomena of which we are speaking are mani- 
festations of the universal dynamism with which our five 
senses put us very imperfectly in relation. We live in the 
midst of an unexplored world in which the psychical forces 
play a role still very insufficiently investigated. These 
forces are of a class superior to the forces usually analyzed 
in mechanics, in physics, in chemistry. They are of the 
psychical order, have in them something vital and a kind of 
mentality. They confirm what we know from other sources, 
that the purely mechanical explanation of nature is insuffi- 
cient, and that there is in the universe something other than 
so-called matter. It is not matter that rules the world; it 
is a dynamic and psychic element. . . .There is in nature, 
especially in the domain of life, the manifestation of instinct 
in vegetables and animals, in the general soul of things, in 
humanity, in the cosmic universe, a psychical element which 
appears more and more in modern studies, especially in 
researches in telepathy, and in the observation of the un- 
explained phenomena which we have been studying in this 

Science not only shows us how moving matter causes 
vibrations in the ether, producing motion in other matter 
at a distance; it also enables us to realize the possibility 
of action at a distance by means of thought, and this with- 
out the instrumentality of speech, telegraph wires, or other 
physical agencies. For if thought be accompanied by mo- 
lecular vibrations in the brain, the ether must be moved 
by these just as it is moved by the vibrations which produce 
the phenomena of light and electricity. Said Sir William 
Crookes, the famous English physicist, in his address as 
president of the British Association for 1898: 

"It would be well to begin with telepathy, with the fun- 
damental idea that thoughts and images may be transferred 


from one mind to another without the agency of the recog- 
nized organs of sense; that knowledge may enter the hu- 
man mind without being communicated by any hitherto 
known or recognized ways. . . .If telepathy takes place, we 
have two physical facts the physical change in the brain 
of A, the suggestor, and the analogous physical change in 
the brain of B, the recipient of the suggestion. Between 
these two physical events there must exist a train of phys- 
ical causes. Such a sequence can only occur through an 
intervening medium. All the phenomena in the universe 
are presumably in some way continuous, and it is unscien- 
tific to call in the aid of mysterious agencies when with 
every fresh advance in knowledge it is shown that ether 
vibrations have powers and attributes abundantly equal to 
any demand even to the transmission of thought .... It is 
known that the action of thought is accompanied by certain 
molecular movements in the brain, and here we have phys- 
ical vibrations capable from their extreme minuteness of 
acting direct on individual molecules, while their rapidity 
approaches that of the internal and external movements 
of the atoms themselves .... It will be found possible to 
discover a path by which telegraphing without wires and 
transferring thought from mind to mind can be found to 

Examples of this possibility of moving the matter of the 
human brain at a distance by the putting forth of purely 
mental power have been gathered in thousands by socie- 
ties for psychical research on both sides of the water. It 
is only a step further to show that matter outside the human 
brain matter which is inorganic may also be moved and 
influenced by the action of mind. In 1871, Sir William 
Crookes published an account of experiments conducted 
by him, under a system of rigid scientific tests, which 
established "the existence of a new force in some unknown 
manner connected with the human organization, which for 


convenience may be called the psychic force." In this ac- 
count Sir William demonstrated that by putting forth of 
the psychic force it is possible to alter the weight of bodies 
and play upon musical instruments without direct human 

But there is still a third stage in the power thus exerted 
by mind upon matter that of actually creating it. For what 
does the creation of matter really mean ? It does not mean 
the bringing of matter into existence out of nothing; it 
simply means the rearrangement of the atoms which al- 
ready exist. The ultimate parts of all kinds of matter are 
the same; the different types of matter known to us are 
due to different combinations and motions of the ultimate 
units, and these units are simply modifications of the ether 
itself. Tarde, the French writer, maintains that all spatial 
likenesses in the universe, and therefore the likenesses of 
the ultimate parts of matter, are due to likenesses of vibra- 
tion ; and if the mind be capable of giving rise to vibrations 
in the ether, it should be able to call matter from the ether. 
It was Sir William Crookes who, alluding to Tyndall's 
assertion that he saw in matter the promise and potency of 
all forms of life, said: "I should prefer to reverse the 
apothegm and say that in life I see the promise and potency 
of all forms of matter." 

Some time ago Professor Ramsey startled the scientific 
world with the announcement: 

"I have found that when electricity is passed through 
a vacuum tube containing a little hydrogen, two other 
gases, helium and neon, appear .... The chief value of 
these experiments is that they point the way for a change 
of one form of matter an element supposed to be in- 
capable of change into another, or that it shows that what 
we have hitherto considered as substance is but a manifes- 
tation of forces. In any case a severe blow has been dealt 
to the present theories concerning the constitution of mat- 


ter . . . . It means that we must cease to believe in and to 
speak of 'elements/ We must adopt new phrases. New 
theories, founded largely on the old ones but with serious 
modifications, must be advanced. We must experiment 
further with electricity and its effects upon matter. I im- 
agine that if any experiments are carried on, we shall dis- 
cover many startling facts concerning electricity and may 
even discover a new and enormously large source of elec- 
trical power." 

Where shall we look for this unknown source of power, 
and what may be its modus operandil Thus far we have 
seen that logic and scientific research admit of the possi- 
bility of synthesizing matter out of ether. The principle 
that underlies this creation and predetermines the resultant 
forms and shapes is the one with which human thought 
has wrestled from time immemorial, whether calling it the 
"idea" of Plato, the "elan vital" of Bergson, or simply the 
"first cause." In the universe this principle manifests itself 
as motion along the path of least resistance, thus fulfilling 
that law of harmony and unity which like a thread of gold 
runs through the whole fabric of creation, from the orbits 
of planets and stars to the circling motions of electrons in 
atoms, from the formation of a snow crystal and the wing 
of a butterfly to the Greek Parthenon, a Madonna of 
Raphael, a symphony of Beethoven or a sonnet of Shake- 
speare. In other words, the intelligent principle is the mode 
in which the universe works in what is called evolution, and 
therefore has its outcome in forms and motions character- 
ized by harmony and unity. Ether, in differentiating itself, 
first produces electrons, which in their turn give rise to 
atoms. These, following the path of the least resistance 
and subject to unlike stress, unite to form different kinds 
of matter, until finally the creative activity exerted by the 
universe passes over into the organism in a highly complex 


Man as an organism also creates intelligent forms by 
virtue of his derivation from the universe. At first he 
creates by moulding objects with his hands, and later by 
means of machines. But this is only the initial stage of his 
creative power. Mind comes to have greater and greater 
meaning in his development and activities. As the indi- 
vidual mind gets more from and cooperates more with the 
race mind, human advance is accelerated. A further stage 
of this development will come when, instead of using 
hands, tools and machines to supply his needs and shape 
his environment, man will accomplish these ends by means 
of brain waves generated by his thought. These waves 
will be creative, just as the ether which produced and 
moulded matter is creative, since both are ultimately of the 
same nature. They will result in forms which are intelli- 
gent because the production of such is the end toward 
which all activities ultimately tend. The link between these 
effects of thought and the effects produced by the universe 
is the link of a fundamental process which is common to 
all existence. But in order to be creative these thought 
waves must be rhythmic, that is to say, they must move 
in accordance with the laws of harmony and unity this is 
the cardinal condition, the sine qua non of the mind's mas- 
tery over matter, the raison d'etre of all religions, the 
logical deduction of all modern science. The power of 
rhythm in ether may be brought home to us by the force 
of rhythmic waves in our material world. It is a well- 
known fact that a body of soldiers must break step when 
crossing a bridge to prevent its collapse under their rhyth- 
mic tread. The fall of Jericho's walls at the trumpet blasts 
of the Israelites may be cited in illustration of the force 
exerted by sound-waves. Religion is in complete accord 
with science when it inculcates goodness, righteousness, 
moral perfection in man, for in this direction lies man's 
oneness with his Creator. "Except ye become as little 


children ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven/' 
By achieving unity and harmony within himself and with 
his fellow beings man will put himself in tune with the 
universe, and wield the powers of the cosmos itself his 
rhythmic thought-waves acquiring under these conditions 
the power to liberate what are called the "intra-atomic 
energies" and shape them at will. This power at present 
is dormant or dissipated, largely because of the conflicts 
and cross-purposes which continue to divide mankind. 

The newly-discovered phenomena of radio-activity go 
far toward bridging the gap between matter and mind. 
They show that matter is continually undergoing disinte- 
gration, and that by rearrangements due to this disintegra- 
tion material substances change one into another uranium 
into radium, radium into helium, neon or argon; copper 
into lithium, thorium into carbon, the series closing, it is 
believed, with lead. Nature, presenting us these trans- 
formations in progress on a large scale, reveals one of the 
methods by which matter is created, and suggests the pos- 
sibility of advance, not only to physical means of imitating 
such processes, but also to the reproducing of them by 
mental action. Has not such a power of creating matter 
been already exercised in the past? Does not progress 
move in cycles, and has not humanity gained again, by 
infinite struggle that which it lost through some mistake 
or blunder of its own? This is the view expressed by 
Professor Soddy, the English physicist, in his Interpreta- 
tion of Radium. 

"Some of the beliefs and legends which have come down 
to us from antiquity are so deep-rooted that we are accus- 
tomed to consider them almost as old as the race itself. 
One is tempted to inquire how far the unsuspected aptness 
of some of these beliefs and sayings to the point of view so 
recently disclosed is the result of mere chance or coinci- 
dence and how far it may be evidence of a wholly unknown 


and unsuspected civilization of which all other relic has 
disappeared. It is curious to reflect, for example, on the 
remarkable legend of the philosopher's stone, one of the 
oldest and most universal beliefs, the origin of which, how- 
ever far back we penetrate into the records of the past, we 
do not seem able to trace to its source. Let us give the 
imagination a moment's further free scope in this direc- 
tion .... What if this point of view that has now suggested 
itself is true, and we may trust ourselves to the slender 
foundation accorded by the traditions and superstitions 
which have been handed down to us from prehistoric time ? 
Can we not read into them some justification for the belief 
that some former forgotten race of man attained, not only 
to the knowledge we have so recently won, but also to the 
power which is not yet ours? Science has reconstructed 
the story of the past as one of the continuous ascent of man 
to the present-day level of his powers. In face of the 
circumstantial evidence existing of this steady upward 
progress of the race, the traditional view of the fall of man 
from the higher, former state has become more and more 
difficult to understand. From our new standpoint, the two 
points of view are by no means as irreconcilable as they 
appear. A race which could transmute matter would have 
little need to earn its bread by the sweat of its brow. If 
we can judge by what our engineers accomplish with their 
comparatively restricted supplies of energy, such a race 
could transform a desert continent, thaw the frozen poles, 
and make the whole world one smiling garden of Eden. 
Possibly they could explore the outer realm of space, mi- 
grating to more favorable worlds, as the superfluous to-day 
migrate to more favorable continents. One can see also 
that such dominance may well have been short-lived. By 
a single mistake, the relative positions of nature and man, 
as servant and master, would, as now, become reversed, 
but with infinitely more disastrous consequences, so that 


even the whole world might be plunged back again under 
the undisputed sway of nature, to begin once more its 
upward, toilsome journey through the ages. The legend 
of the fall of man possibly may indeed be the story of such 
a past calamity." 

Our modern knowledge of psychical phenomena may 
thus be a merely recovered remnant of knowledge once 
possessed in vastly greater fulness. There may have been 
a time when telepathy was as common and as highly devel- 
oped for the practical purposes of life as telephony and 
telegraphy are to-day. The occultism of the East and the 
strange powers of communicating information to a distance 
possessed by many savage tribes suggest an age in which, 
by mind action alone, results were achieved that in our 
time would be called miraculous. And when an exact man 
of science suggests that our race was once able to disin- 
tegrate matter and mould it into new forms at will, it is 
surely no mere poetic fancy to imagine that this power, 
existing at all times potentially, may finally be put forth 
dynamically in acts of mind. 

The merely physical aspect of radio-activity is itself 
a revelation of such startling importance as to be almost 

"Radio-activity," says Professor Soddy, "has raised 
an issue which it is safe to say will mark an epoch in the 
progress of thought. With all our mastery over the pow- 
ers of nature, we have adhered to the view that the struggle 
for existence was a permanent and necessary condition of 
life. To-day it appears as though it might well be but a 
passing phase to be altogether abolished in the future, as it 
has to some extent been mitigated in the past by the un- 
ceasing, and as it now appears, unlimited ascent of man to 
knowledge, and through knowledge, to physical power and 
domination over Nature." 

The struggle for existence to-day among human beings 


is largely a struggle for energy, and it is because of the 
insufficient supply of this that competition is so fierce, in 
many respects even so unmoral, and that money, which is 
simply so much energy, is so unequally distributed. Science 
now opens up the prospect of such a mitigation of the 
struggle as will lay at least a physical foundation for a 
new order of society. When it becomes possible to liberate 
and to utilize the "intra-atomic energies," matter will sup- 
ply us with the powers needed for life and social progress 
in such unlimited quantity as literally to change the face 
of the world. 

The process of creating matter out of ether is much 
simplified by the consideration that atoms, being already 
in existence, the transmutation of one set of them into an- 
other, would be all that is necessary to obtain any desired 
material results. Says Soddy in Matter and Energy: 

"The discovery of the relation of the atom to energy 
within the last decade recalls the strange medieval myth 
that the Philosopher's Stone, which had the power of trans- 
muting metals, when discovered, would prove also to be 
the elixir of life. Transmutation, the pulling to pieces and 
putting together of atoms, would render available the pri- 
mary sources of energy, which maintain the time-defying 
processes of cosmical evolution." 

Such a philosopher's stone man possesses in his brain 
with its brain waves. It is generally agreed now that all 
life is inseparably bound up with electricity, and that our 
own organism is nothing but a storage electric battery, 
while our brain waves are disturbances in the ether similar 
to light or electric waves. The extreme minuteness of these 
brain waves does not militate in the least against their be- 
coming, while acting rhythmically, the greatest source of 
power ever at the disposal of man, any more than the ex- 
tremely small attractive power of amber known to the an- 
cient Romans militated against electricity becoming the 


mighty agent of power it is at present. Sir Oliver Lodge 

"If the ether can be set spinning, we may have some 
hope of making it imitate the properties of matter, or even 
of constructing matter by its aid. But how are we to spin 
the ether ? Matter alone seems to have no grip of it .... 
We cannot spin ether mechanically. But we can vibrate 
it electrically ; and every source of radiation does that. An 
electric charge, in sufficiently rapid vibration, is the only 
source of ether waves that we know; and if an electrical 
charge is suddenly stopped, it generates the pulses known 
as X-rays, as the result of the collision. Not speed, but 
sudden change of speed, is the necessary condition of gen- 
erating waves in the ether by electricity. We can also infer 
some kind of rotary motion in the ether ; though we have 
no such obvious means of detecting the spin as is furnished 
by vision for detecting some kinds of vibration. Rotation 
is supposed to exist whenever we put a charge into the 
neighborhood of a magnetic pole. Round the line joining 
the two the ether is spinning like a top. I do not say it is 
spinning fast ; that is a question of its density ; it is, in fact, 
spinning with excessive slowness, but it is spinning with 
a definite moment of momentum. . . . The fact of such 
definite rotation was discovered by Faraday. ... In what- 
ever way it is regarded, it is an example of the three rect- 
angular vectors. The three vectors at right angles to 
each other, which may be labelled Current, Magnetism 
and Motion, respectively, represent the quite fundamental 
relation between ether and matter, and constitute the link 
between electricity, magnetism and mechanics. Where any 
two of them are present, the third is a necessary conse- 
quence. This principle is the basis of all dynamos, of elec- 
tric motors, of light, of telegraphy, and of most other 
things. Indeed, it is a question whether it does not under- 
lie all that we know in the whole of the physical sciences; 


and whether it is not the basis of our conception of the 
three dimensions of space." 

Since mathematics offers us a glimpse into a fourth 
dimension of space as yet transcending our actual expe- 
rience, why could we not put the brain waves, of whose 
force we have already a glimmering, however faint, in the 
same group with current, magnetism and motion all being 
fundamentally but modes and manifestations of one com- 
mon energy, the ether? 

The fact that it is associated with man's organism, 
and is an emanation of both his physical and spiritual na- 
ture, invests with a special significance this hitherto almost 
wholly unexplored force. Nor were the scientists slow to 
recognize the portentous value of brain waves and try to 
reduce their manifestations to strictly scientific data. 

A discovery of this kind was a few years ago announced 
to the French Academy of Sciences in the form of observa- 
tions showing the existence of a vital emanation from the 
human body, "analogous in its behavior to that of radium, 
Crookes' bulbs, X-rays, radio-activity" and like them ca- 
pable of producing images on the photographic plate. The 
evidence for these experiments cannot yet be considered 
conclusive, but it is a fact of enormous significance that 
such experiments are being made. Science first heard of 
them thirty years ago ; they have been frequently repeated 
since then; and the French savant's belief that there is 
some new knowledge to be won in this direction may very 
well indicate the path along which humanity is yet to travel. 
If a tiny bit of inorganic matter like radium, extracted 
with infinite toil and patience from a mass of pitchblende, 
can display powers which astonish the scientific world and 
revolutionize scientific conceptions, what might not be ex- 
pected from "vital rays," and still more from the subtle 
activities of the human brain? 

It is interesting to note that in the past human reverence 


has persistently surrounded the heads of saints and divine 
personages with halos. May these halos not only represent 
power outflowing from the human brain, but also stand for 
harmony between spirit and matter a harmony such as 
was meant by Kant when he spoke of "good-will," such as 
found complete manifestation in the divine personality of 
Christ at whose word spirit (or ether, or whatever it may 
be called) was translated into matter ? Are we not justified 
in assuming that the mistake, the blunder to which Pro- 
fessor Soddy refers the serpent that crept into the garden 
of Eden and caused the fall of man may well have been 
the evil which, entering the human soul, disrupted the har- 
mony between matter and spirit and plunged the race into 
the lower state of toil and pain ? 

Staggering and stupendous as is the contention that 
rythmic thought waves are capable of synthesizing matter 
from ether, it is by no means far fetched, but fully borne 
out by the past achievements in the domain of science. 
Electricity, as a force, has always existed; as a factor in 
human progress, it is a mere infant born of yesterday. 
Could you have told an ancient Roman, as he amused him- 
self by rubbing a piece of amber and watching it attract 
light bodies, that this selfsame power would one day propel 
over the seas ships a thousand times heavier than the 
largest Roman galley, that it would carry the human voice 
over distances farther than the farthest reach of the Roman 
aqueducts, and even signal human thought far beyond 
the pillars of Hercules, the ancient Roman would surely 
have viewed such a prophecy as arrant nonsense if not 
downright madness. 

Thus far we have dealt with the scientific aspect of the 
problem. Let us now see how far we can rely upon meta- 
physics in support of this view. From what we know of 
the universe, both through personal experience, and by way 
of pure reasoning and deduction, it is clear that the creative 


process in nature must have mind behind it. That is, the 
contrivances we see in nature cannot arise (i) either by 
chance, through purely mechanical causation, or (2) by 
voluntary action and manipulation in the manner in which 
we human beings produce results and carry out our plans. 
The mechanical process in nature, that is, causation, must 
therefore be guided to ends, to the realisation of the results 
which we call teleological, that is, planned with view to 
ends. If mind is operative in nature it cannot be merely 
an abstract principle, but must be an impelling force. It 
must so permeate and influence cause as to give it the 
character of a working through means to ends. The mind 
engaged must be omniscient, aware of all forces and of all 
possible results which may come from the direction and 
guidance of them in any particular case. Such a mind 
must act directly as mind, without needing to be embodied 
in organic form or to work upon its material by way of the 
voluntary action through which we accomplish our results 
as human beings. We must assume therefore that creative 
power is put forth as a direct influence exerted, first upon 
ether to differentiate it into matter, and then upon matter 
to bring into existence the various organic and inorganic 
forms which make up what we know as the world. Up to 
the present man's powers of contrivance of reaching ends 
by way of means have been restricted to the physical 
manipulation of matter by means of his organs, tools and 
machines, with mind coming in only as a guide to these. 
In the ultimate stage of our evolutionary progress man's 
mind must become a direct, and not merely a secondary 
factor, in his creative activity. 

How do the teachings of the foremost metaphysicians 
of modern times bear out this view? Paul Janet says in 
Les causes finales: 

"If each one of the things in the universe taken sep- 
arately has been produced by another why, for what 


end, all taken together, have they been made? Unity of 
cause presupposes unity of end. If a single cause has done 
it all, it must have done it for one end, and as the cause is 
absolute, the end also must be absolute. But as there are 
no two absolutes, the cause and the end must be identical ; 
and consequently, God must have made this world for Him- 
self. If God, as absolute perfection, could not have created 
the world for an egotistic end (for then it would have been 
simpler not to create it at all), if on the other hand we 
cannot suppose that He created it only by accident or as a 
plaything, it therefore follows that He created the world 
only in the interest of the created beings that is to say, out 
of goodness. Such is at least the only way in which the hu- 
man mind can conceive the reason of creation; such is, 
translated into human language, the only hypothesis which 
permits us to conceive of the relation between the infinite 
and the finite, between the imperfect and the perfect, be- 
tween the Creator and the creature." 

According to Paul Janet, therefore : if the first absolute 
cause is goodness, the absolute end must also be goodness. 
God, the absolute cause, by creating the world, had good- 
ness in view as His end. Inasmuch as man is derived from 
God, man's end must be identical with God's, goodness. 
By achieving this end, since there are no two absolutes, 
man ipso facto becomes an absolute cause, and therefore 
at one with God, sharing His power, partaking of His wis- 
dom, and striving for that "divine event toward which the 
whole creation moves" that is, the setting up of the king- 
dom of God on this earth. 

Not wanting in analogy to this view is the reasoning 
by which Henri Bergson seeks to guide us, though along 
a slightly devious path. His primal cause is the vital urge, 
the elan vital, and he regards it as a sort of divine message 
which is given out to and expressed in all created things. 
But it gets garbled in transmission. It is only dimly pre- 


sented in the unconscious world of inorganic matter; it 
comes out more clearly in the realm of plants and animals ; 
its highest expression is in man. Suppose we accept this 
vital thrust, this elan vital, as a symbol of creative power, 
through which God acts in and upon all things. It is evi- 
dent that when transferred, its efficiency must depend on 
the nature of the instrument through which it is trans- 
mitted, and must flow out in all the greater potency accord- 
ing to the degree in which that instrument approaches 
perfection. Man as he is now is handicapped by the im- 
perfections of his organism, yet even in his present state the 
divine message is able to manifest itself through him in 
flashes of intuition. That is why Bergson lays such stress 
on intuition and extols it above all knowledge acquired 
under the merely material limitations of man's intellect. 
It follows from this that the more perfect and good man 
becomes, the more harmony he brings into his life and 
thought, the more completely will he be capable of receiv- 
ing the full efflatus of the vital urge, the elan vital, and of 
applying its creative power to the human environment and 
to human conditions. Bergson's intuition, separated from 
knowledge in his system, will then become one with knowl- 
edge. In man will be combined the creature and the Crea- 
tor, the doer and the deed; through him the divine mes- 
sage will pass out to matter as well as to life, and in creative 
activities will refashion as well as illuminate the world. 

The analogy between creative activity in the universe 
and the creative activity of man finds its full exemplifica- 
tion in the domain of art. Says Janet: 

"Nature is no more artist by chance than she is geom- 
eter by chance ; her esthetics are no more fortuitous than 
her industry. It is because there is an industry of nature, 
a geometry and esthetics of nature, that man is capable of 
industry, of geometry, of esthetics. Nature is all that we 
are and all that we are is derived from nature. The crea- 


live genius the artist feels in himself is the revelation and 
the symbol of the creative genius of nature." 

And Janet further writes : 

"What we call in God the ideal creation (the difference 
of infinite from finite being understood) is an act analogous 
to that which we call the creative act of human genius." 

According to Goethe's conception, life reaches its high- 
est form in artistic creation because in art nature comes 
to self-consciousness and shows its inmost essence in visible 
shape. Schiller assigns to art the same place. His reason 
is that man, who in the rest of life is divided and shattered, 
wins his unity through art, so that he may act as one power. 

Partaking of the divine creative power, all art is re- 
ligion. Schopenhauer saw in art the embodiment of the 
universal will manifested in types that are eternal, time- 
transcending, immortal. Schopenhauer's theory of art has 
thus been summarized: 

"The idea obtains a relatively complete realization in 
art (and philosophy) in the creations of genius. While 
ordinary cognition is merely subservient to the ends of 
mere living, or is purely relative, esthetic and philosophic 
cognition are ends in themselves, and reveal the pure idea, 
since they show the immediate essence or nature, the 
"what," and not merely the mediate nature, the "why," 
or relative causes of things .... In the series of arts con- 
stituting a series of objectifications of the idea, architecture 
contains the idea of mere blind force; sculpture and paint- 
ing, respectively, of organic (human) form and action; 
poetry, of historical development; music, the highest of 
the arts, of the inner essence of things." 

The secret of the powerful sway of music over the hu- 
man soul lies in the fact that by its very nature of harmony 
and rhythm, it is the most immediate in its effects, attuning 
man to the universal soul. For this reason it has from 
time immemorial accompanied divine worship, to which all 


the other arts architecture, sculpture, painting, the in- 
spired word of man are ancillary. 

Finally : how far are the ideas here expressed capable of 
practical application to every-day life ? Will they stand the 
test of pragmatism ? Will they work ? Thus far in human 
history the incentive to moral perfection in man has been 
a system of rewards and punishments in the hereafter. Be 
good, says religion, in order that you may enter the king- 
dom of heaven after death. This system on the whole 
worked, and the proof is that the world goes on. But it 
does so laboriously, painfully, haltingly; social readjust- 
ments are slow because of imperfect social unification, be- 
cause of the fact that humanity fails to grasp the funda- 
mental principle, underlying all creation, that goodness is 
power, that each individual is simply a unit, that his 
strength comes from the unity and harmony of all. In a 
word, the system of rewards and punishments as practised 
to-day, is too remote, too detached from man's life and 
experience, and for that reason is inefficient and wasteful; 
it follows, so to speak, a circuitous route, meeting science 
half way and winking at it from behind hedges. It is out 
of date, because while in education and even in the treat- 
ment of criminals we are gradually seeing light and abol- 
ishing the rod, we still lay emphasis on hell in our religion. 
This antiquated system is bound to be superseded in the 
course of time by a system of rewards in this present world 
as offering the highest possible incentive to moral perfec- 
tion and goodness, with religion and science as a single 
cult leading humanity harmoniously along a straight path 
toward the common goal. A constructive view of this sort 
would naturally leave punishments out of account, except 
merely as dissuasives. 

It may be pertinent here to remark that the great Amer- 
ican pragmatist philosopher, Prof. William James, already 
referred to in this article, saw the need, toward the end 


of his life, of a new constructive metaphysics which, by 
fusing science and religion into one cult, would work for 
the greatest good of mankind. 

To set aright a world manifestly out of joint, we must 
start at the beginning, with the bringing up of the new 
generation. What makes a man a Mohammedan, a Bud- 
dhist, a Hebrew, a Christian? Clearly, it is the way in 
which he has been brought up from childhood. It is per- 
fectly practicable to educate children in the idea of attain- 
ing goodness in their lives and souls as a means of attaining 
to God and to all power. The possession of the earth and 
the fulness thereof is a powerful incentive, and there can 
be no greater than the cry of the Scriptures, "Oh grave, 
where is thy victory? Oh death, where is thy sting?" 

Far more potent than the lure of immortality beyond 
the grave is the incentive of immortality in man's actual 
life, for it is easier for the mind to grasp the idea of un- 
interrupted bodily existence with all it implies than that 
of one resumed after the dissolution of the material body 
with only belief to substantiate the beyond. If, as the 
scientific argument demonstrates, it is possible to synthesize 
matter from ether, then it is also possible to achieve im- 
mortality. The potentialities of ether being infinite, immor- 
tality for human beings may thus mean aspects and modes 
of existence of which in our present state of knowledge we 
can form no adequate conception. Nor is the practicability 
of the incentive invalidated by the consideration that life 
is too short for any one individual to realize perfection and 
to achieve divinity in his personal existence. For man 
does not live for himself alone more fully and more in- 
tensely he lives for his children and for generations yet 
unborn. But the greatest assurance that this system would 
work lies in the fact that it would be able to perpetuate 
itself by the very good it would achieve in uniting mankind 
as one power. 


There is still one more aspect to be considered : that of 
the methods by which man may be able to create matter 
and refashion not merely social conditions, but the very 
physical environment itself, in the midst of which his lot 
is cast. How, then, shall he, ceasing to adapt himself to 
his inanimate surroundings as something which he cannot 
change, but must take for granted, begin to adapt them to 
his needs and plans? This can be accomplished only by 
intense concentration, involving not merely individual, but 
also social unification. We get the model and forecast of 
these in the organism itself, where concentration is essen- 
tial to all activities and to every putting forth of will. The 
human individual is able not only to work out plans, but to 
hold his mind definitely on particular ends which he wishes 
to see realized. How, then, are the numerous individuals 
who make up society, with different interests and ideals 
and with conflicting aims, to unite their multifarious will 
powers with a view to a common result ? It must be noted 
in the first place that a social community is not a mere 
multiplicity of individual units, but has its members linked 
together in a thousand ways. To a large extent, and for 
things common to it, the community thinks in common. It 
is now recognized that there is a social as well as an indi- 
vidual consciousness, a social will as well as an individual 
will, and that these collective powers of society are coming 
to be exerted in a more intense way and over a much wider 
field than was formerly the case. Communities are more 
unified than before ; they think more and will more in com- 
mon than at any previous period of social history. If indi- 
vidual telepathy is possible, due to individual consciousness 
and will, what is to exclude the possibility of a telepathy, 
of a thought transference which is social in character, 
which proceeds from the community thinking and willing 
as a whole? 

If, however, the prospect of concentration on so vast 


a scale may seem far too remote from the present, history 
on the other hand furnishes us with ample illustrations of 
intense individual concentration associated with transcen- 
dental powers. Such, for instance, were the mystics of old 
who, by abstracting themselves from the interests and im- 
pressions that constantly bombard our conscious existence, 
were enabled to unite with the soul of the universe, with 
God, and thus gain wondrous wisdom and power. The 
adepts of Yogi in India, the followers of Zen in Japan, all 
belong in the same class. But perhaps the most shining 
individual example we see in Buddha who, forsaking the 
life of pomp and pleasure, retired into himself and medi- 
tated upon the miseries of humankind until he became aware 
of the essence of things and of his own mission. Even so 
the Son of Man went into the desert and fasted, and prayed, 
and wrestled with his soul ere he gave himself to the sal- 
vation of the world. 

Over the bridge that the Past ever throws to the Future 
we may tentatively trace the route which humanity in ages 
to come is to travel. With moral perfection as the corner- 
stone of all individual and universal existence, life must 
needs become one common prayer, in which human souls, 
following the path of unity and harmony, as with one 
accord will become one force, one power. Acting as an 
impetus in the world of ether, this force will be potent to 
transform by means of brain waves the pure idea into 
creative idea, thus completing the cycle as it is now exem- 
plified in the order of creation. Says Janet: 

"The principle of good which is in the universe, must 
be not only conservator, but organizer, creator, promoter." 

But after all, the methods and ways and means of con- 
centration are only a matter of detail which we may safely 
intrust to the future, once the fundamental truth is grasped 
that by achieving moral perfection man will achieve his 
unity with God and partake of the divine power of creation. 


By inference this power is at present denied to man because 
of his imperfect morality, his self-seeking, his lack of har- 
mony and unity within himself and with the rest of man- 
kind. Nor can there be human freedom all the legislation 
in the world notwithstanding until humanity grasps the 
inner meaning of the fundamental laws of man's spiritual 

To sum up. The pre-condition of the mastery of mind 
over matter is harmony and unity in the thoughts of men, 
and by implication in their lives and actions. Thus har- 
monized and unified, mind action, giving rise to rhythmic 
ether w r aves, would liberate and direct the intra-atomic 
energies, and open up to humanity the new unknown source 
of power to which Professor Ramsey alludes. The closing 
words of Bergson's address before the English Society for 
Psychic Research seem to point in the same direction, for 
he predicts that "the science of mind will attain results 
surpassing all our hopes." The new source of power will 
enable man to reshape or even create his environment at 
will. As soon as this truth is realized a new era will dawn 
upon the world. Blending science and religion into one 
cult, mankind will devote itself to the task of harmonizing 
and unifying human thought. The history of civilization 
is the history of great religious movements. Christianity, 
Buddhism, Mohammedanism, shaped the destiny of the 
world by inspiring its people with great ethical principles. 
The goal of man is to become divine, and the way to attain 
it is the way indicated by every religion the via beatified. 
When every one awakens to the idea that he can help or 
hinder the bringing of heaven on earth, there will be no 
need of jails or standing armies. Humanity will then have 
set out on its quest of the Holy Grail. Thus the greatest 
power in the world is the power of thought, since behind 
it is that something the "substance" of Spinoza, the ether 
of modern science in a word, the spirit out of which all 


things arise. Ultimately, the forces at work in the world 
will not be measured in terms of horse-power, of foot- 
pounds, of calories, but in terms of mind unified, har- 
monious, creative. There is awe-inspiring grandeur in 
the conception of the potential worlds embodied in ether 
which, at the call of man, the creator, may arise and be. 



AJL unsophisticated people believe that their minds act 
on their bodies and their bodies on their minds. If 
some one sticks a pin into me and I feel a painful sensation, 
it seems obvious that the entry of the pin into my body is 
the cause of the sensation in my mind. Similarly if I will 
to move my arm it seems obvious that the volition in my 
mind causes the movement of my body. The view that 
mind acts on body and body on mind may be called "two- 
sided interactionism." 

In spite of the fact that interactionism seems at first 
sight to be certainly true, we have to notice that it is at the 
present time rejected by what is probably a majority of 
scientists and a majority of philosophers. Most people 
who have studied the subject from the side either of phi- 
losophy, or of physics, or of physiology have come to the 
conclusion that the mind does not act on the body and that 
the body does not act on the mind. Such a strange con- 
clusion and one so contrary to the belief with which we all 
start must need powerful arguments to support it; and 
what I propose to do in this paper is to state and criticize 
the most important of these as carefully as I can. 

Before entering into these arguments in detail, I would 
like to point out that this is essentially a question which 
cannot profitably be discussed by mere philosophers or by 
mere scientists, but only by persons with a competent 
knowledge both of philosophy and of natural science. The 


question is : are events of a certain kind causally connected 
with events of a certain other kind, or are they not? To 
answer such a question one must have a competent knowl- 
edge of the two kinds of events and their laws, and one 
must understand exactly what is meant by causation. Now 
mental events and their laws are treated by psychology, 
and bodily events and their laws are treated by mechanics, 
physics, chemistry, and physiology. Hence some knowl- 
edge of all these sciences is necessary before one can dis- 
cuss this question. But, though it is necessary, it is not 
sufficient. All natural sciences make constant use of the 
notion of causation, but the notion of causation does not 
form part of the subject matter of any natural science. 
Causation, its precise limitations, are part of the subject 
matter of philosophy. Similarly arithmetic makes continual 
use of reasoning but it is not about the process of reason- 
ing, for this is dealt with by logic. 

With these preliminary remarks we may turn to the 
special arguments which have been used against inter- 
actionism. I will begin with two purely philosophical argu- 
ments. They seem to me quite worthless and we may as 
well clear them out of the way at once. 

I. One argument is that body and mind are so entirely 
unlike each other that it is inconceivable that events in one 
should cause events in the other. How could two events 
so different as eating a beefsteak and thinking of a poem, 
or having a volition and making a bodily movement be 
causally connected? This argument assumes that events 
can only cause each other if they be sufficiently similar, 
that if they be sufficiently similar their causal connection 
is intelligible, but if they be very different it is inconceiv- 
able. The answer is (a) that however similar two events 
may be the fact that one causes the other is never self- 
evident but has to be learnt by experience. It is not a priori 
self-evident that one billiard ball moving straight on to 


another will make the second move in the same straight 
line; we have simply learnt that this is what actually hap- 
pens. We have exactly the same kind of evidence for the 
view that sticking a pin into a man's body causes a painful 
sensation in his mind. In neither case is the connection 
intelligible, if by intelligible you mean logically deducible 
from what is otherwise known of the nature of billiard 
balls or of pins respectively. In both cases it is intelligible, 
if by this you mean that it is a fact which involves no con- 
tradiction and is actually found to be true. (>) We are 
not told in this argument how dissimilar events must be 
before it becomes unintelligible that one should cause the 
other. A draught is not particularly like a cold in the head, 
but no one who habitually changes trains at Clapham 
Junction will deny that the former may cause the latter. 
And if the dissimilarity between a draught and a cold in 
the head does not render their causal connection impossible, 
I fail to see why the difference between a pinprick and a 
painful sensation should make their connection unintelli- 

II. A more refined form of philosophical argument is 
the following. It is said that wherever we have a genuine 
instance of causation the events are connected by a great 
many other relations as well as the causal one. The two 
billiard balls have definite spatial relations to each other, 
and so on. It is argued that there are no such relations 
between a pinprick and a painful sensation or a volition 
and a bodily movement. The mental states are not in space 
and the bodily events are, hence there can be no spatial 
relations between them. Hence it is argued that mental 
and bodily events cannot be causally connected. Although 
this argument has the support of so eminent a philosopher 
as Professor Stout, I must confess that I can see very little 
in it. I have four objections to it. (a) How do we know 
that the causal relation can only subsist between two events 


when other relations subsist between them too? It does 
not seem self-evident and I know of no attempt to prove 
it. (b) How do we know that there are not other relations 
between mental and bodily events ? It is perfectly conceiv- 
able and even probable that bodies have many qualities 
which we cannot perceive owing to the very limited range 
of our senses. It is still more likely that states of mind 
have many properties which we cannot detect by introspec- 
tion. I see no difficulty whatever in supposing that there 
may be plenty of relations between states of mind and 
states of body of which we are unable to become aware. 
Now, if this possibility be granted, it seems much more 
reasonable, in view of the strong appearances in favor of 
interactions and the difficulties which we shall find in all 
alternative views, to suppose that there really is interaction 
and that we are unable to become aware of the other rela- 
tions than that no other relations exist and consequently 
there is no interaction, (c) But, further, in certain cases 
we can actually see that there are other relations between 
mental and bodily events. When I will to move my arm 
I have to think of my arm and of its present and its future 
positions. Here we have at once a definite relation between 
volition and bodily movement, viz., the fact that the part 
of the body to be moved and its movement must be objects 
of thought to the mind. This is just as good a relation 
as the spatial relations of the billiard balls. Since mind 
and body are very different we need not be surprised to 
find that the relations between mental and bodily events 
when they interact are considerably different from those 
between two bodily events when they interact, (d) Finally, 
a man who believes that mind and body interact is not 
obliged to suppose that a bodily event is ever the total 
cause of a mental one or conversely. It is quite open to 
him to think that a painful sensation has a complex cause 
one part of which is a pinprick and the other some state 


of his mind. There is much in our experience to favor 
such a view and nothing against it. E. g., a person who 
is kicked with the same hardness, once when he is sitting 
quietly and at another time when he is playing in a football 
match, will have considerably different sensations in the 
two cases. This suggests that the sensation felt is a joint 
product of his body and his mind. If his body had not been 
kicked he would not have had the painful sensation, if his 
mind had not been attending intently to the game the sen- 
sation would have been much more painful. But, if states 
of mind are often the joint products of states of body and 
of other states of mind, and conversely, the objection that 
there is no other relation between the alleged cause and the 
alleged effect obviously breaks down; for there will be an 
intimate relation between the mental factor in the total 

For these reasons I think that the purely philosophical 
arguments against interaction have no tendency to refute 
the view of common sense, and therefore we may turn to 
arguments based on the accurate observations and the ac- 
cepted laws of natural science. 

The most important argument of this kind is based on 
observations on the energy-changes in the human body 
and on the physical principle of the conservation of energy. 
But closely connected with and supporting this argument is 
one based on the fact that all nervous process is physio- 
logically of the reflex type. I will deal with these two argu- 
ments in turn. The one about the conservation of energy 
will occupy us for some time, for we shall have to make 
clear (a) what are the observed facts, (fr) what is really 
meant by the conservation of energy and in what sense it 
is probably true, and (c) what bearing the observed facts 
and the principle really have on the question of interaction. 

a. The following are the observed facts. Very careful 
experiments have been performed on human beings with a 


view to testing whether any changes of energy occur in 
human bodies which cannot be accounted for by the chem- 
ical energy produced by the oxidation and other changes 
in the chemical energy of the food which a man eats. When 
a man moves his arm there is an increase of kinetic energy. 
But it is found that, within the limits of experimental error, 
this increase is compensated for by a decrease in the chem- 
ical energy of some part of his body. The upshot of the 
matter is that competent observers after careful experi- 
ments seem to be convinced that the system composed of 
a human body, the air that it breathes, the food that it 
eats, and the heat that it evolves is energetically a closed 
system. That is, it is a system whose total energy remains 
unchanged, an increase in one factor being compensated 
by a decrease in some other factor. I do not intend to 
criticize these observations, which seem to have satisfied 
competent observers, except on one point. It seems to me 
that such experiments can only tell us what is true on an 
average over a long space of time. To make them per- 
fectly satisfactory one would need to know the total chem- 
ical energy in the man's body at each moment of the ex- 
periments. This we naturally cannot do since it would 
involve killing the man and analyzing his body at each 
moment; a process which would be both illegal and phys- 
ically impossible, since it would involve killing him to get 
one's observation and bringing him to life again to con- 
tinue the experiments. Remembering these limitations 
we can say that the net result is that over the period of 
the experiment the total amount of energy given out by the 
body in heat and movement balances that lost by the food 
eaten and the air breathed. This leaves it perfectly open 
to us to hold that the balance is not maintained at every 
moment, that sometimes there is more and sometimes less 
total energy present in the system, but that these differences 
average out over a long period and are never very great. 


It is doubtless true that we should always find that 
when less energy was being given out in heat and move- 
ment than was being taken in in food and air the weight 
of the man's body increased. We could thus conclude that 
chemical products were being stored up in the man's body 
and might suspect that their chemical energy would make 
the balance right. But we cannot be sure of this because 
we cannot kill the man and discover just what these storage 
products are and hence what their chemical energy is. We 
cannot therefore be perfectly sure that the total energy of 
the system never decreases, though we may very strongly 
suspect this. We are on safer ground in concluding that 
the total energy of the system never increases. When more 
energy is given out in heat, movement, and waste products 
than is being taken in in food we shall find a decrease in 
weight in the man's body. This will lead us to ascribe the 
balance to the oxidation of stored products. An analysis 
of the waste products may then tell us what these stored 
materials must have been and from this knowledge we can 
deduce the chemical energy which will be liberated by their 

The upshot of the matter seems to be that ( i ) we can 
be pretty certain that in the long run and on the average 
the energy given out by the body balances that taken in. 
(2) That we can be pretty sure that at no moment does 
the total energy of the system increase. (3) That we may 
strongly suspect, but can never be quite so certain, that at 
no moment does the total energy of the system decrease, 

b. We have so far spoken of energy as if every one 
knew what it was, and of the conservation of energy as if 
this were an unambiguous principle which was certainly 
true. We must now try to become clear on these two points. 
The only perfectly clear meaning of energy and its conser- 
vation is found in kinetic energy in mechanics and in the 
collision of perfectly elastic bodies. All other forms of 


energy and all statements about their conservation are not 
matters of pure observation but are a mixture of observa- 
tion and convention. This I will now try to show. 

The kinetic energy of a body of mass m moving with a 
velocity v is denned as the product %mv 2 . Since mass 
and velocity can be measured kinetic energy can also be 
measured. If two perfectly elastic bodies (e. g., two bil- 
liard balls) collide it is found that the sum of their kinetic 
energies before and after impact is practically the same, 
though the distribution of it between the two maybe greatly 
changed by the collision. Here everything is measurable, 
the meaning of the law is perfectly clear and there is no 
element of convention in it. The next stage is the intro- 
duction of the notion of potential energy in mechanics. 
Suppose that a body with kinetic energy %mv 2 moves up 
against a perfectly elastic spring and presses it inward. 
The velocity of the body and hence its kinetic energy will 
gradually be reduced to nothing. But subsequently the 
spring will expand again and impart velocity to the body 
in the opposite direction. And it is found that when the 
body once more leaves the spring its kinetic energy will 
again be approximately ^Amv 2 . These are the actually ob- 
servable facts. It is clear that, if we confine ourselves to 
kinetic energy, this has not been conserved. It has in fact 
passed through all the values between o and %m^ 2 , and so 
at all intermediate stages of the transaction the kinetic 
energy has been less than at the beginning and end. Now 
the conservation of energy is only maintained by postu- 
lating a new kind of energy ad hoc and giving such a meas- 
ure to it as will -preserve the principle intact. It is said 
that as the body loses kinetic energy the spring gains poten- 
tial energy and conversely. Now potential energy, unlike 
kinetic energy, cannot be directly measured; we merely 
ascribe to it such values at any moment as shall keep the 
principle true. There is therefore an element of "cooking" 


or convention in the principle even as applied to such ab- 
stract cases as purely mechanical transactions between per- 
fectly elastic bodies. All that we can say is that the as- 
sumption of potential energy and the ascription of this 
value to it are compatible with the observable facts, not that 
they are necessitated by them. 

If now we leave purely mechanical events and purely 
elastic bodies a further dose of convention is needed to 
preserve the principle, though there are also further ob- 
served facts to take into account. If we used billiard balls 
of lead or putty we should find that the kinetic energy was 
nothing like the same after a collision as before. Nor 
could we put this right by assuming potential energy and 
giving an appropriate measure to it, for we should find that 
the bodies, unlike the spring in the last example, had been 
permanently deformed. And, so long as we keep to me- 
chanics, we must simply say that the principle has broken 
down beyond hope of further "cooking." But, by extend- 
ing our observations beyond mechanics, we can discern a 
further important law of motion ; and, by a liberal dose of 
convention, we can state this law in such a way that the 
conservation of energy can be retained. We shall find 
that when bodies are permanently deformed other physical 
phenomena occur. Their temperature rises, they may give 
out sound waves, or they may produce electrical phenom- 
ena. We can directly measure quantity of heat in its own 
units. And it has been abundantly proved that when a 
certain amount of kinetic energy disappears from a system 
and no other change takes place except a rise in temperature 
the amount of kinetic energy lost measured in mechanical 
units and the amount of heat gained measured in thermal 
units bear a constant relation. The same is true when 
heat disappears and kinetic energy is the only result. Note 
that, strictly speaking, there can be no question of equality. 
Kinetic energy is one thing, heat is another; a unit of 


kinetic energy is different from a unit of heat, and it is 
really meaningless to talk about equality between the two. 
All the observed facts tell us is that the number which 
measures one in its units bears a constant relation to the 
number that measures the other in its units. The same is 
found to hold for other physical phenomena like light, 
sound, and electricity. Now these observed facts can be 
stated in the form that quantity of heat, electric potential, 
etc., are forms of energy and that when ever one disappears 
from a system an equal quantity of the other takes its place. 
Quite strictly speaking this is nonsense, because you can 
no more talk of a quantity of heat being equal or unequal 
to a quantity of electric potential than of an archdeacon 
being equal or unequal to a quadratic equation. Equality 
and inequality, in the strict sense, can only hold between 
two quantities of the same kind; and a quantity of heat is 
not of the same kind as a quantity of electric potential. 
But this way of talking is convenient in practice, and, by 
adopting it, the form of the conservation of energy can be 
preserved when it would otherwise break down. We may 
sum up then as follows : Strictly taken the conservation of 
energy is a meaningless and nonsensical proposition. But, 
interpreted liberally, it is a statement of the observed fact 
that in mechanical, physical, and chemical phenomena, 
when n units of any one kind disappear from a system there 
will be an increase in the number of units of some of the 
other kinds in the system, and the numerical values of these 
increases will bear a constant ratio to n. It must be added 
that this will only be true if the system is isolated; other- 
wise, as when heat leaves a system by radiation, the com- 
pensating change may happen in some other system. The 
law will then hold of the two systems taken together, but 
not of either taken separately. 

c. Now this principle, together with the experimental 
facts about the energy-changes in the human body de- 


scribed above, is taken to prove that the mind does not act 
on the body and that the body does not act on the mind. 
The question for us is: Does it prove anything of the sort? 
I take the argument to be this. Experiment proves that 
the body, its food, air, etc., form an isolated energetic sys- 
tem. Any change in the energy of the body is completely 
balanced, in the sense given above, by other changes in the 
energy of this system. If the mind acted on the body this 
system could not be isolated, energy would appear in it 
when we made a voluntary movement, and this energy 
would not be balanced by the disappearance of energy from 
any other part of the system. Similarly if the body acted 
on the mind energy would disappear from the body when 
the mind had a new sensation, and this energy would not 
be balanced by an increase somewhere also in the system. 
As this balance actually does take place mind cannot act 
on body and body cannot act on mind. 

This argument, which has convinced a great many emi- 
nent persons of the impossibility of interaction, seems to me 
to have no weight at all against the evidence from constant 
experience in favor of interaction. I will now state why 
it appears to me to be worthless. It assumes that if body 
and mind interacted with each other we should have to 
assume a new kind of energy mental energy in order to 
preserve the conservation of energy. We should find en- 
ergy unaccountably appearing in the body when we made 
a volition to move and unaccountably disappearing from 
it when a pin entering our bodies was followed by a sensa- 
tion in our minds. Since we do not need to assume mental 
energy it is concluded that there can be no interaction. But 
this would only follow if it were certain that two things 
cannot interact without changes of energy in each. Now 
this is not asserted by the conservation of energy at all. 
What is asserted is that if things interact and if their inter- 
action be accompanied by change of energy, then these 


changes will obey the conservation of energy. The conser- 
vation of energy then by itself has no bearing on the ques- 
tion of interaction. It is true however that when physical 
systems interact with each other there are changes of 
energy in both; though this could not have been foretold 
from the conservation of energy. But this does not in the 
least prove that all interaction must be accompanied by 
changes of energy; in particular it leaves it a perfectly 
open question whether, when a mind interacts with a body, 
such changes take place. The experimental facts strongly 
suggest, though they do not prove, that the interaction of 
mind and body is not accompanied by changes of energy ; 
they have not the faintest tendency to show that no inter- 
action takes place. And the conservation of energy, which 
is apparently supposed to be the bulwark of this argument, 
turns out to have as little to do with the case as "the flowers 
that bloom in the spring/' 

On the same experiments and the same physical prin- 
ciple another argument is often based. It is said that the 
experiments prove that the body and its surroundings obey 
the conservation of energy and that it follows from this 
fact that everything would proceed in exactly the same way 
in the body if it had no mind and in the mind if it were not 
connected with a body. The results of this suggestion are 
so startling that it may be worth while to consider them 
for a moment before dealing with the validity of the argu- 
ment. The L. N. W. Railway was ultimately built entirely 
by the bodily movements of human beings, and the trains 
run at stated times from the same causes. If these bodily 
movements were to take place just the same apart from 
minds we should have to believe that, although there had 
never been the faintest glimmer of intelligence on the earth, 
the L. N. W. Railway would still have been built and that 
trains would still run into and out of Euston driven by 
mindless engine drivers and containing mindless passen- 


gers reading newspapers printed by mindless printers. Now 
it really seems incredible that all these things should go on 
as before if there had been no minds; we should surely 
expect to find an immense and noticeable difference in 
everything (except possibly the newspapers). Similarly 
if the body never acts on the mind we must believe that all 
our mental states are caused by other mental states. There 
could be no question of getting a new idea from reading a 
book or a new sensation from sitting on a tintack, for books 
and tintacks are alike physical objects. And if we reso- 
lutely reject the obvious physical causes of such new sen- 
sations and ideas we can find no trace of any mental cause 
in our past history for them. Any argument which leads 
to such extraordinary conclusions as this will need to be 
very strong indeed before it can be reasonable to accept it. 
In actual fact the argument is extremely weak. Since 
every physical system obeys the conservation of energy 
the mere knowledge that some particular system such as 
the human body obeys it will not tell us what that system 
in particular will do. The system composed of a gun, a 
bullet, and an explosive obeys the conservation of energy; 
when it is not discharged the bullet and gun have no kinetic 
energy and the explosive has great chemical energy, when 
it is discharged the kinetic energy gained by the bullet and 
gun is balanced by the chemical energy lost by the explo- 
sive. But this knowledge does not suffice to tell us either 
that the gun will be discharged, or, if so, when it will be 
discharged. It does not even tell us in what proportion the 
kinetic energy will be divided between the gun, the bullet, 
and the gases evolved when the gun is discharged. Simi- 
larly the mere knowledge that the human body obeys the 
conservation of energy does not tell us that it will do any- 
thing at all, nor does it tell us what it will do and when 
it will do it if it does anything. Once again then an argu- 
ment against interaction which professes to be based on 


the conservation of energy and on the experiments that 
have been made on the energy-changes in human bodies is 
found to rest on neither. What does this argument really 
involve then ? We find in all purely physical and chemical 
systems, i. e., non-living material systems, that, although 
the conservation of energy does not determine whether or 
when one kind of energy will disappear and another kind 
appear, yet these transformations do obey definite laws. 
Thus the gun goes off when the temperature is sufficiently 
and suddenly raised or when a shock is administered to the 
explosive. We may then define a purely physico-chemical 
system as one which obeys the conservation of energy, and 
in which, further, the transformations of energy which 
take place and the times when they take place are deter- 
mined by purely material causes according to the special 
laws of physics and chemistry. Now if the human body 
were such a material system as this it would follow that 
the mind could not act on the body, though it would not 
follow that the body could not act on the mind. A purely 
physico-chemical system is defined as one where the only 
causes of change are material ones acting in accordance 
with physico-chemical laws. If the only causes be material 
it is clear that none of them could be mental, and that the 
mind could not act on the body. On the other hand, even 
if all the transformations of energy in the human body 
were determined physically or chemically it would not fol- 
low that they might not also cause changes in the mind. 
It is true that physical and chemical changes do not cause 
sensations when they occur in non-living bodies, but that 
may perfectly well be because such bodies do not have any 
minds attached to them in which sensations could be caused. 
It may quite well be a law of nature as invariable as any 
of the laws of physics and chemistry that all material sys- 
tems of the form and complexity of living bodies are ac- 
companied by minds; and that, although the changes in 


these systems take place entirely in accordance with the 
laws of physics and chemistry, yet certain of them also 
cause changes in the minds which, by an invariable law of 
nature, are attached to such material systems. Nothing 
that we know about the experimental facts or the laws of 
physics and chemistry precludes this possibility, and our 
knowledge that certain bodily changes are always followed 
by certain sensations and that no other cause for these 
sensations can be plausibly suggested makes the possibility 
highly likely. We may call the view that body acts on 
mind but mind does not act on body "one-sided interaction- 
ism." We see then that if it can be proved that all bodily 
changes take place entirely through chemical and physical 
causes the most reasonable view to take of the relation be- 
tween mind and body will be that of one-sided interac- 

For some reason one-sided interactionism is always 
stated in a peculiarly absurd form by philosophers and 
scientists, and is then easily refuted. It is nearly always 
identified with what is called "epiphenomenalism." This 
is the doctrine that mental states have no effect either on 
the body or on each other, that each is produced separately 
by some bodily change and makes no further difference to 
anything either mental or bodily. Now if this were the 
only form that one-sided interaction could take it might 
fairly be regarded as a preposterous theory. But there 
is not the least reason either in logic or in any known facts 
why one-sided interactionism should take the form of epi- 
phenomenalism. It is perfectly open to us to hold that the 
mind does not act on the body but that mental states are a 
joint product of certain bodily processes and of past mental 
states. And there is no reason whatever why certain 
mental states should not have purely mental causes. 

We have now seen what are the consequences of the 
hypothesis that all changes in the human body take place 


in accordance with purely physico-chemical laws and have 
purely material causes. We must now ask whether there 
is any reason to suppose that this hypothesis is true. First 
we must notice that, since this conclusion does not follow 
from the conservation of energy, the evidence for the truth 
of that law in general, and the experiments which tend to 
show that the human body and its surroundings form a 
closed energetic system, have no bearing whatever on the 
question whether the human body is a purely physico-chem- 
ical system. Secondly we must notice that it might be true 
that the human body is not a purely physico-chemical sys- 
tem, and yet that the vast majority of the processes in it 
proceed in accordance with purely physico-chemical laws. 

If the mind acts on the body at all it is pretty certain 
that it does not as a rule act directly on most parts of the 
body. If it acts on the body at all it acts presumably on cer- 
tain parts of the brain and determines when and to what 
extent a transformation of energy shall occur there. All 
the subsequent consequences of this transformation in all 
the other parts of the body might proceed in accordance 
with purely physico-chemical laws, and of course all the 
bodily changes whether started mentally or materially 
might obey the conservation of energy. It follows that 
even if all physiologists were agreed (as I understand they 
are not) in holding that every bodily process that they had 
investigated took place in accordance with physico-chemical 
laws it would not in the least follow that none of these 
processes are started in the brain by the action of the mind. 

When we remember the extreme difficulty of proving 
a negative about any thing, the extreme complexity of the 
human body, and the impossibility of accurately determin- 
ing the details of minute processes in the brain of living 
beings, we may fairly assert that there is no prospect what- 
ever of a direct experimental proof that every process in a 
living human body proceeds from beginning to end from 


purely material causes and in accordance with purely 
physico-chemical laws. Now when a hypothesis cannot 
be proved or refuted by direct experiment our only course 
is to consider what will follow if it is true. No hypothesis 
can be more probable than its logical consequences ; hence, 
if the logical consequences of a hypothesis be wildly im- 
probable we must conclude that the hypothesis is itself 
wildly improbable. Now the logical consequence of the 
hypothesis that the body is a purely physico-chemical sys- 
tem is that all its actions would be precisely the same 
whether it were accompanied by a mind or not. We have 
already seen that, when this suggestion is considered in 
detail, it is so wildly improbable as to be ludicrous. Hence 
I conclude that the view that the human body is a purely 
physico-chemical system is preposterous, and therefore that 
there is no reason to suppose that the mind does not act 
from time to time on the body. 

I cannot however leave this point without saying some- 
thing about the "enlightened parallelist" who figures in 
Chapter III, 6, of Professor Stout's Manual of Psychol- 
ogy (third edition). Stout, who himself inclines to accept 
the arguments against interaction, admits that if the denial 
of interaction led to such absurd results as we have indi- 
cated, he would be forced to reject parallelism. But he 
thinks that they need not lead to any such absurdities. I 
will quote his example of the enlightened parallelisms treat- 
ment of the writing of Hamlet. "The manuscript may be 
regarded from two points of view, each taking account of 
only one aspect of its nature. In the first place, it may be 
regarded merely as one portion of matter among others .... 
From this point of view its existence can be accounted for 
through merely material conditions including especially 
certain occurrences in. ... Shakespeare's brain. But the 
manuscript is not merely a material thing; it is also the 
manuscript of a play to be read, acted, and criticized. From 


this point of view explanation in terms of material condi- 
tions certainly breaks down. What is essential here is the 
mind, not the brain, of Shakespeare; what is essential is 
Shakespeare as a subject, thinking, feeling, willing and 
adapting means to ends .... Whether we adhere to .... 
parallelism or to .... interaction, this teleological point of 
view remains unaffected." 

The weakness of this passage is that it starts by pro- 
fessing to tell us how the enlightened parallelist will "ac- 
count for the production of the manuscript of Hamlet." 
But it actually tells us nothing of the kind. It tells us what 
any enlightened person must recognize as the distinctive 
peculiarity of such material objects as manuscripts (viz., 
that they have a meaning and design). It does not in the 
least tell us how the enlightened parallelist can account, 
qua parallelist, for what he has to admit, qua enlightened. 

But we may go further than this. Does Professor Stout 
mean that Shakespeare's brain and other material causes 
brought about the particular collection of marks on paper 
which constitute the manuscript of Hamlet, and that Shake- 
speare's mind caused the meaning of this collection of 
marks without affecting his body ? Let us consider in what 
sense you can be said to cause the meaning of a set of 
marks. Unless a man is making up for himself a new 
language or symbolism there seems to be only one sense 
in which he can cause the meaning of a collection of marks. 
And the sense is this. Certain collections have, independ- 
ently of him, a meaning for those who see them ; and others 
do not. Of the former, some have, independently again 
of him, one meaning; and some have another. The only 
way in which he can cause a meaning is by causing the 
particular collection of marks that have that meaning. 
The only way in which he can do this is by the appropriate 
use of his body. And the only way in which he can ap- 
propriately use his body for this purpose is through his 


mind thinking of the meaning and causing his body to 
make the movements which cause the collection of marks 
that express this meaning. Unless the thoughts and de- 
sires of the mind can affect the movements of the body I 
fail altogether to see how an intentional meaning can be 
expressed by any material object which is produced by the 
movements of the body. 

So far as I can see the least that an enlightened paral- 
lelist could hold would be somewhat as follows: (i) All 
material systems and their changes have purely material 
causes. (2) Of material systems some are marked off 
from the rest by showing traces of meaning or design. 
(3) Somewhere among the material causes of such peculiar 
material systems will be a state or states of some one's 
brain. (4) With this state or these states will always be 
correlated in some one's mind a thought of the meaning 
and a desire for its expression. 

Such a view seems possible, even if not plausible. But 
it would still leave parallelism powerless to explain the 
causes of our sensations. I think therefore that one-sided 
interaction of body or mind would always be in a stronger 
position than parallelism. For (a) it can give the usual 
explanation of the causes of our sensations, (fr) It is, as 
we have seen, perfectly compatible even with the view 
that the body is a purely physico-chemical system, (c) 
With regard to the causation of material objects which 
show traces of meaning or design it could take practically 
the same view as I have ascribed to a really enlightened 
parallelist. The only modification would be that for (4) in 
the enlightened parallelisms position it would substitute the 
proposition: This state or these states of brain cause in 
the mind connected with this brain a thought of the mean- 
ing and a desire for its expression. 

Mr. Russell argues in his Lowell Lectures that when 
we once understand that causation is nothing but functional 


correlation we can see that the quarrel between an inter- 
actionist and an enlightened parallelist is largely a matter 
of words. On this assumption as to the meaning of cau- 
sation it will at any rate follow that if parallelism be true 
so is interactionism. If we hold that there is a one-to-one 
correlation between the states of our brain and the states 
of our minds, and a one-to-one correlation between the 
states of our brains and the changes in the physical world 
which we say that these produce, then there will be a one- 
to-one correlation between our states of mind and the 
changes in the physical world. And if causation means 
nothing but such correlation then we have as much right 
to say that our states of mind cause the changes in the 
physical world as that our states of brain do so, or that 
our states of mind cause our states of brain and that these 
cause the changes in the physical world. 

But, in the first place, I am very doubtful whether func- 
tional correlation be the whole of what we mean by cau- 
sation. This, however, is not the place to embark on this 
wide inquiry. Secondly, even on Russell's theory of cau- 
sation, interaction would not imply parallelism. E. g., 
there might be two bodily states which, as such, were in- 
distinguishable in their qualities. To one there might be 
correlated a state of mind and to the other no state of mind. 
Now if we found that the first was correlated with a dif- 
ferent kind of change in physical objects from that which 
is correlated with the second we could say that the state of 
mind is an essential part of the cause of changes of the first 
kind. Hence the question at issue between parallelists and 
interactionists will still be a real one. 

It remains to notice a second scientific argument, drawn 
from the constitution of the nervous system, which is sup- 
posed to prove or render it probable that all bodily processes 
are purely physico-chemical, and hence that mind and body 
do not interact. If you take a purely reflex action, which 


may go on without consciousness, the arrangement of the 
part of the nervous system involved is that the afferent 
nerves convey the stimulus from the surface of the body 
and are connected with efferent nerves which convey a 
corresponding stimulus to the muscles. The two nerves 
join, or at least come into very close contact, at some place 
called a synapsis ; and it looks as if the whole process con- 
sisted in some physical or chemical change being started 
by the external stimulus, pushing along the afferent nerve, 
affecting the efferent nerve through the synapsis, and pro- 
ducing in it a physical or chemical change which travels 
along this to a muscle and causes it to contract. There is 
no stage in such a process when it is necessary or reason- 
able to invoke anything but physical or chemical causes and 
laws. Now, it is said, all the nervous mechanism of the 
body, whether it be associated with mere reflex action or 
with apparent control of acts by consciousness is of the 
same type as the reflex arc. It simply consists of an 
enormous complication of such arcs, so that when a process 
of change once starts to travel along an afferent nerve 
there is an immense variety of different possible efferent 
nerves along which it may travel back to the surface of the 
body. Hence a single stimulus may be followed by an 
immense variety of external actions on different occasions. 
But, it is argued, we do not here have anything qualita- 
tively different from the simple reflex arc, the only differ- 
ence is one of complication. Hence if we did not need to 
assume anything but physico-chemical causes at any stage 
in a simple reflex action there can be no need to assume 
anything else in the most complex voluntary action. The 
different actions that follow at different times from the 
same stimulus will depend on the different resistance at 
different times of the various synapses; but there is no 
reason to suppose that these variations in resistance are 
due to aught but physico-chemical causes. If mind and 


body really interacted, it is said, we should expect to find 
that certain afferent nerves ended in a kind of blank space 
in the brain and certain efferent nerves started from the 
same space. Then we might suppose that a stimulus reach- 
ing one end of an afferent nerve would affect the mind and 
that the mind by its voluntary decision would affect the 
end of an efferent nerve and thus start a nervous current 
down it which would finally cause a voluntary movement. 
Now we do not find any such arrangement as this in the 
nervous system ; hence, it is argued, we may conclude that 
the mind does not intervene at any stage of the process. 

It seems to me that, of these two arguments, which 
generally appear together, the second is quite worthless, 
while the first does indeed prove something, though not 
what its employers suppose it to prove. I call the second 
worthless because it practically assumes that, if at any 
point there is a gap in a process of purely physical causa- 
tion, then must there be a spatial discontinuity, and the 
mind, in order to act, must somehow be in this gap as a 
wire has to fill up the gap between a bell-handle and a bell 
if the former is to ring the latter. Now this assumption 
simply rests on lack of imagination and abuse of spatial 
metaphors. When we say that somewhere in a process 
there is a gap in purely physico-chemical causation we 
simply mean that at some stage of the process an event 
occurs which cannot be explained by purely physico-chem- 
ical laws. It is obviously unnecessary to suppose that at 
this stage there must also be a gap or breach of spatial 
continuity in the process. So far the argument consists in 
confusing two senses of gap (i) a gap in an explanation, 
(ii) a gap in space. You must just as well argue that only 
persons over six feet in height can have high moral char- 

The other confusion consists in supposing that if a mind 
acts on things in space it must itself occupy a particular 


portion of space. That is simply due to lack of imagination. 
We are most accustomed to deal with the actions of things 
which have definite shapes, sizes, and positions; hence we 
are inclined to think that all things that act must have these 
characteristics. The inhabitants of Central Africa had 
just as good reasons for supposing that all men are black. 

The first argument, on the other hand, does, I think, 
strongly suggest what kind of action the mind has on the 
body, but does not suggest that it has none at all. It strongly 
suggests that when the mind acts on the body what it does 
is to raise the resistance of some synapses and lower the re- 
sistance of others. It is probable that the resistance of 
synapses has causes which are partly physico-chemical and 
partly mental, that they may get into a state in which the 
mind cannot affect them, and that very often the mind does 
not affect them even though it could. In purely reflex 
actions it is possible that the mind has no control ; in habit- 
ual actions which we can control but do not as a rule trouble 
to control, the non-physical cause is in abeyance ; in habitual 
actions which have got beyond the control of the will the 
mind has lost its power of interfering with the chemico- 
physical process. This much the facts about the nervous 
system do render highly probable. That they do not ren- 
der it probable that the mind has no control in any case 
seems to me to result from the following considerations. 

The argument that the whole of our nervous processes 
are of the same type as those which accompany purely re- 
flex actions cuts both ways. Whatever be the similarity 
in the nervous mechanism it cannot be denied that there is 
a clear introspective difference between the experience of a 
purely reflex act, like blinking when something approaches 
our eye or sneezing when we smell pepper, and a voluntary 
act, like deciding with difficulty to get out of a warm bath 
on a cold day. This is a real difference open to any one's 
inspection. Moreover it is a qualitative difference and not 


a merely quantitative one ; the experience of voluntary de- 
cision is not simply a mass of experiences of reflex action. 
Now this qualitative distinction has to be explained some- 
how ; and the more you insist that the whole nervous sys- 
tem differs only quantitatively by its greater complexity 
from the simple reflex arc the more difficult it becomes to 
explain the admitted qualitative difference in the two ex- 
periences. If then it be certain that the structure of all 
parts of the nervous system differs only quantitatively from 
that of the part which is associated with reflex action we 
seem forced to suppose that there must be some difference, 
not of structure but of process, in the part associated with 
voluntary action. And in view of the evidence from daily 
life that the mind does act on the body in volition it seems 
reasonable to suppose that this difference consists in the 
fact that certain processes in the higher nervous system are 
not entirely physico-chemical. The facts, then, so far from 
proving that the body is a purely physico-chemical system 
and that the mind cannot act on it, rather tend in the oppo- 
site direction. 

We may now sum up our results. ( i ) The most prob- 
able theory is that the mind sometimes acts on the body 
and the body sometimes acts on the mind. We have evi- 
dence for this of the same kind and the same amount as 
for any other case of causation. None of the objections 
to it are anything like conclusive, and all alternative the- 
ories lead to wildly improbable conclusions. (2) It is prob- 
able that in acting on the body the mind does not alter the 
total energy of the body but only determines in certain 
cases when and to what extent it shall be transformed. 

(3) It is probable that in voluntary action the mind affects 
the body by modifying the resistance of certain synapses. 

(4) The view that the body is a purely physico-chemical 
system does not follow from the conservation of energy, 
and can neither be proved nor disproved by direct experi- 


ment. If it were true it would still be possible and reason- 
able to hold that the body can act on the mind. The reason 
for thinking that it is not true is that it leads to the con- 
clusion that the body would behave in precisely the same 
way if it had no mind connected with it, and that this seems 
most improbable. (5) The arguments based on the struc- 
ture of the nervous system are partly mere confusions and 
prejudices. They have no tendency to show that the mind 
cannot act on the body; but, when all the facts are taken 
into account, they tend to make it probable that the mind 
does act on the body. (6) The most foolish of all the- 
ories as to the relation of body and minds seems to be 
epiphenomenalism ; next to it comes parallelism, the doc- 
trine that all which goes on in the body is determined by 
purely bodily causes, that all that goes on in the mind is 
determined by purely mental causes, and yet that there is 
a mysterious correlation between events in one series and 
events in the other. 




HOW attractive is the idea of "Mind the Creator of 
Matter"! In a certain sense the theory is old, as 
old as religion, as old as mankind, as old as the first dawn 
of civilization, for mind has been considered the creator 
of the whole world; God is the creator and God has been 
assumed to be mind in the narrowest sense of the word. 

The present number of The Monist contains an article 
under this caption by L. L. Pimenoff, who here presents 
the proposition of "mind the creator of matter" in a still 
more specific sense. It is not only the old idea that God 
created the world in the Biblical sense, "And God said 'Let 
there be light* and there was light," but the statement is 
meant in a new sense based upon the latest theories of 
psychical research. According to these mind is a kind of 
cerebral battery which sends out electric waves, and these 
waves have the faculty of creating matter in the sense, 
not that matter is made out of nothing, but that ether is 
transformed into tangible and gravitating mass. The 
author corroborates the proposition by quoting a number 
of authorities, some of them of scientific repute such as 
Oliver Lodge and Crookes, but I doubt very much whether 
their depositions will find credit among scientists of the 
normal and average stamp who are not affected by psychic 
theories and by a belief in extraordinary experiences of 
psychically abnormal people. 


The subject presented is one of great interest, and if 
it contains a mere inkling of truth it would certainly be 
of enormous importance to the human race, for in that 
case matter of all kinds, including the most necessary nour- 
ishment, could be produced by pure thought. A person in 
need would have simply to concentrate his mind on the 
materials he wanted and could thus easily appease his 
hunger or thirst in a most satisfactory manner. There 
would no longer be any attempts made to starve whole 
nations into submission, but the psychical men could pro- 
duce without great effort the things needed for the sus- 
tenance of their comrades and families. 

The theory of "mind the creator of matter" as we find 
it in the Bible is extremely old. All heathen mythologies 
contain stories in which the gods produce the world, or 
certain parts of the world, with great ease and by the mere 
power either of the word or of mental faculties. The word 
plays an important part in Egyptian mythology, and it 
almost seems as if the theory of the Logos as proposed 
first in neo-Platonism and then in the Gospel according 
to St. John was ultimately derived from Egyptian sources, 
but even the crudest mythologies make the gods or some 
god, or if they have already developed into a monotheistic 
belief, the one sole God, shape the world in one way or 
another, and so it is natural that a thinking being starts 
his theories with the idea that mind is the primary factor 
in the theory of existence. Other religions, those of an- 
cient Babylon, India, Assyria, Persia and China, developed 
on parallel lines. 

The theory of mind as the creator of the world re- 
ceived its first shock when science originated, and wher- 
ever we can watch that process we find that a more mate- 
rialistic theory is substituted. We see mind develop in 
children. We see first the material bodily existence, and 
the mind develops gradually, first as mere sentient life 


endowed with feeling and desire, and then from sentiency 
mentality is gradually developed until a state of maturity 
is reached in which thought becomes dominant, and in that 
phase we speak of mind. Thus mind is the final product 
of a process which we can observe in every growing being. 

It is a new-fangled theory to look upon mind as a kind 
of dynamo or an electric motor which sends out waves 
that can be utilized for a physical purpose. The new theory 
originated with people who start with an exaggerated no- 
tion of the significance of spiritual factors, but after all it 
seems to us that they propose theories that are extremely 
materialistic. They misunderstand the nature of mind and 
intellectual functions and render them physical like the ac- 
tivities of mechanical machinery. 

Whatever mind may be whether a mechanical machine 
that attends to the process of thinking, or some mysterious 
agency of a spiritual character it is certainly the most 
important fact that we meet with in our experience, for it 
is mind that dominates all our affairs and makes man a 
rational and thinking being. It is the scepter of man's 
dominion on earth, and it alone is the quality which endows 
him with his superiority among other creatures by giving 
him the faculty of foreseeing coming events, anticipating 
dangers and adjusting himself to his surroundings. 

Mind has risen into existence in living organisms, and 
we are sure that it did not exist when the earth was still 
in its primitive condition, uninhabited and uninhabitable, 
before its crust had cooled down into a state that made 
plant and animal life possible. Nothing is more certain than 
this: First the earth was in a fiery state like that of our 
sun ; gradually the planet cooled down and formed a crust 
on which the watery element covered the greater part of 
it, and the terra firma constituted the place on which life 
could develop in a regular evolution, reaching higher and 
higher planes of being. The characteristic feature of 


higher and lower is determined by the mental stage which 
has been reached and attains its highest development in 
man. So there was a time when there existed no mind on 
earth, and now the earth is peopled with intelligent beings 
that have evolved in a gradual and regular course of im- 
provement. To the scientist the question is not how mind 
can produce matter, but how matter can develop from a 
crude state of mindless existence into a better and higher 
condition governed by mind. 

Thus not the origin of matter from mind is a problem 
of science, but the origin of mind from matter ; and to state 
briefly the outcome of it, we must insist that both mind 
and feeling have been declared not to be matter, or of 
matter, nor possibly to have been derived from matter as 
one of its qualities, but mind must be something sui generis. 
Mental phenomena are subjective, while motions and ac- 
tions of matter are objective, and the solution of this prob- 
lem has been briefly the statement that all subjectivity, 
including mental actions, constitute one side of existence 
while material existence is the other; or in other words 
existence is possessed of an inside and an outside. It pre- 
sents itself as an objective existence by being matter in 
motion, but in itself it is neither matter nor motion but 
feeling, and this theory first clearly formulated by Fechner 
is commonly called the theory of parallelism. 

According to the theory of parallelism, matter and feel- 
ing are different. Feeling does not originate from matter 
nor from energy, but is radically different. It is assumed 
to accompany, according to form, the different motions 
of a living body, and different motions in the nervous sys- 
tem of living beings are accompanied by different forms 
of feeling. These two sides of existence, the mechanical 
or objective and the sentient or subjective, are as different 
from each other as a concave or inside curve and the con- 
vex or outside curve of a circle. They have a definite 


correspondence but are different in their very character- 
istic qualities. The totality of subjective phenomena in 
its continuous existence is called soul. 

If the soul cannot have been produced by matter it must 
have evolved together with matter as its inside existence, 
and this inside existence is trying to gain the superiority 
and take the lead as a central dominance of the whole. 
Assuming that certain motions are in themselves feelings 
we will understand how these feelings develop into broader 
and deeper consciousness. The subjective feature of un- 
organized nature, often called dead or inert matter, is not 
such that it can be characterized as being possessed of 
actual feeling, but assuming that the subjective side of 
matter exists throughout the world everything existent is 
possessed of subjectivity or the potential conditions from 
which feelings develop, and if we ask how such a change 
of potential feelings into actual feelings may come about, 
my answer would be, by organization. It is not sufficient 
for a feeling to be actual consciousness. The feeling must 
gain clearness to be a real feeling, and that is possible only 
by organization. An isolated feeling is not actual feeling, 
it is merely potential feeling. A feeling to become an 
actual feeling must be interrelated with other feelings. It 
must feel and be felt. It must be so interlinked with other 
feelings that one feeling feels the other feeling, and can 
gain clearness by a contrast with other feelings. Such a 
process would be called organization, and at any rate it is 
a fact that sentient life originates only in organisms which 
are living beings in which sentient parts are interrelated 
and organized. 

Such we may fairly well claim to be the established 
facts of the origin of feeling from a world endowed 
throughout with subjectivity, which involves a possibility 
of developing feeling and may be considered as the inside 
nature of all existence. The next question is how feeling 


as it has developed in sentient matter will develop mind, 
and we may briefly answer this problem with the following 
considerations. A sentient organism is exposed to all kinds 
of impressions, such as touch, light, sound waves, etc. 
These impressions are of the same kind and have continued 
to affect organisms from the beginning of their birth, and 
the results of these impressions have affected the organism 
in such a way that their repeated occurrence has created 
organs for their reception. The impressions of touch have 
affected the outside of the body in an outer membrane 
called the skin, and the skin is so arranged as to receive 
impressions of touch in a way that they are felt to represent 
something outside. Air waves come upon the body in a 
similar way as the impressions of touch, but in a special 
place an organ is produced which we call the ear, ready 
to receive these air waves so that they may be incorporated 
into highly specialized feelings called sounds, and every 
such feeling of sound is so highly specialized that sentient 
organisms have different feelings for each different sound, 
and these feelings so differentiated begin to represent the 
different sounds so as to become identified with them. The 
same is true of the impressions which ether waves make. 
A special organ is formed which we call the eye, and the 
highly complicated process of seeing has finally made the 
eye as it is to-day in living beings, animals as well as man. 
The eye is so differentiated that a living creature re- 
ceives through the ether waves impressions which produce 
definite pictures, and these pictures represent the bodies 
from which they come. The process of seeing has become so 
natural to all living creatures that they do not reflect about 
its nature and origin but simply take the result as a fact of 
their existence. We see things and animals and all kinds 
of objects in our surroundings and adapt them to represent 
the things themselves as given data of our experience. 
While the light emanating from objects of our surround- 


ings impresses pictures on our retina we take the pictures 
as facts and say that we see those things as if our pictures 
were the realities themselves. Considering all in all we 
find that sense-impressions are made upon organisms and 
that these sense-impressions by constant repetition become 
representative, and we may boldly say that representative- 
ness is the character of mind. We have sensations, and 
these sensations picture the world of our surroundings and 
by showing them with analogous descriptive details they 
become symbols and furnish us with the material out of 
which we construct our views of the world. 

The next question is the perfection of- man, or the 
origin of human reason, and that coincides with the ori- 
gin and introduction of speech. By speaking an animal 
learns to think in abstract terms which puts life on a 
higher plane. Reason enables us to think, foresee and adapt 
ourselves to conditions and to understand better the sig- 
nificance of life; in other words, to think scientifically and 
to raise consciousness to a higher plane, commonly called 
self-consciousness. How does this come about? How is 
it possible that mere animal life can develop into rational 
or human thought? The answer is this, that it comes 
about in the normal course of events by repetition and by 
a continued and higher organization. The same impression 
follows the same nervous tracts by which it is carried to 
the same central place in the brain. There it is impressed 
into a structure which has been formed by the same kind 
of impressions made by the same kind of object in former 
experiences. The whole structure thus forms a kind of 
composite picture, and this composite picture melts into 
one and is accompanied by an oral expression which de- 
notes the whole. The origin of reason is the origin of lan- 
guage. Man thinks because he speaks. He has learned 
to think by self-observation through an analysis of his way 
of thinking. 


I will not enter into the origin of language, which has 
been treated by Ludwig Noire and also by Max Miiller, but 
I will state here that the speaking animal develops a certain 
sound to accompany the definite picture of a certain object. 
Seeing a cat or a horse or a dog we denote all the recollec- 
tions of cats or dogs or horses with the words, and thus the 
names instigate and stimulate our recollections of these 
several animals. They become a kind of label and, as all 
our mental impressions are registered according to our 
notions of them in a systematic way, our new sense-im- 
pressions run along the tracks of former nervous impres- 
sions of the same kind. The brain originates like a store 
house where different sense-impressions are regularly 
stored according to their nature, and we thus see that 
in the develepment of mental arrangements a logical sys- 
tem originates in which species become subdivisions of 
genera. In this way of systematically registering our 
sense-impressions according to the principle that the same 
impression goes to the same place prepared for it by former 
impressions, we develope a logical arrangement of men- 
tality that prepares us to think clearly and helps us to 
find ourselves prepared for a logical consideration of our 
own experience when we reach the scientific method of 

One mind can exchange thoughts with other minds by 
using the same kind of symbols and speaking the same lan- 
guage. We understand each other because the same words 
denote the same objects and the interconnection of words 
expressed in endings and conjunctions will explain to us 
the relation in which the words stand to each other. All 
is grown by nature through the impressions of the sur- 
rounding world and thought and observation of their inter- 
relationship. It is the symbolical nature of thought which 
makes mind useful, and if there is any telepathy such as 
exists in telegraphy it is in sending out by the quickest pos- 


sible means (among which electric currents are the most 
efficient) certain shocks transmitted and so charged as to 
have definite meanings, and these meanings are understood 
by the recipient party in the same sense as they are given 
out by the sender of the telegram. Here again we find 
that the nature of mind remains representative. We must 
know that certain impressions, be they dots or dashes or 
any kind of shocks sent out, represent definite thought and 
that both parties possess the key to understand them. If 
mind produces anything it produces definite impressions by 
any kind of means, sound-waves or electric waves or what 
not, but always a definite form of a wave must possess a 
definite meaning. Thus mind is not any mysterious quality 
of unknown psychical or mental or spiritual waves, but it 
is produced by the transmission of physical impressions by 
means of the spoken word or otherwise, and we have not 
the slightest notion in spite of all the learned believers in 
the mystic ability of the mind that mind produces any other 
effects, such as the consolidation of ether into matter, or 
the change of one chemical element into another, or that 
there are waves going out from the brain of man possessed 
with any supernatural or unnatural or hyperphysical fac- 

Considering what science knows about the soul of man, 
I should say a priori that such inventions as are mentioned 
in the article "Mind the Creator of Matter" are highly 
improbable, and I would therefore naturally refuse to be- 
lieve them until they are proved beyond doubt. The strange 
facts mentioned are interesting enough in so far as they 
are accepted and considered believable by the author who 
presents them, and also by the men of science to whom 
they are attributed. Let us wait until they are verified and 
hold ourselves open to conviction either way, to accept them 
if they unqualifiedly can be proved, or to reject them if they 
remain doubtful or can be proved to be untrue by having 


been due to misrepresentation or misconceptions of some 

It is a nice picture of the potentialities of mind to think 
that it possesses qualities which would make it divine and 
a real child of God, the creator. Yet even in this we should 
say that such a conception is not without a deeper mean- 
ing, for mind being the product of organization may truly 
be said to be the creator of matter if we think of matter 
as being the product of organization. If this principle 
may be considered as the prototype on which mind has been 
formed we may consider it a kind of original mind or proto- 
mentality, and such a condition is exactly the faculty of 
making something by combinations. This would be the 
divinity that pervades the world and its creative faculty, 
and in so far we could again justify the old proposition 
that God has made the world ; or, in other words, the theory 
would be justified that mind not the human mind but the 
superhuman or divine mind, the principle of organization 
has shaped matter from the aboriginal material of ether 
into the different elements as we see them develop accord- 
ing to their masses on a definite grade of creation accord- 
ing to their weight and complexity. In this case, however, 
we would find our conception of God justified, which may 
be called in one word nomotheism, or the principle that 
natural law is the divine order according to which a chaos 
is impossible, that all nature develops according to law in 
a definite orderly way as it is realized in the course of 

The proposition of our author, L. L. Pimenoff, can 
fairly be regarded as unacceptable to scientific thinkers, 
and we present it mainly as an interesting vagary of a fan- 
tastic theorist who in the judgment of most scientists 
will scarcely expect a serious indorsement of his proposi- 
tion. In this same number we present an article by Mr. 
C. D. Broad whose expositions on the subject of "Body 


and Mind" are of a very different character. He treats 
the problem of the interrelation of body and mind but 
suffers from the misconception that body and mind are 
separate entities without explaining their character or 
their mode of intercommunication. But he criticises the 
current theory of parallelism. 

Psychologists since Fechner's day have indeed assumed 
that feeling is not motion and motion is not feeling. Feel- 
ing cannot act as a link in causation, and causation must 
be a chain of events in which cause and effect are uninter- 
rupted. The question therefore is, how does the mental 
activity enter in the chain of events? If feeling does not 
form a part of the chain it plays no part in causation and 
the mind cannot ex principio act on the body. This would 
be a simple conclusion from the abstract considerations 
that by feeling we do not understand matter or motion, 
and by matter or motion we do not understand feeling, 
otherwise we might follow Mr. Broad in thinking that the 
theory of parallelism is absurd. 

We will therefore make a few remarks on the theory 
of parallelism which we hold to be true in spite of mis- 
representation. In a series of events which act as causes 
and effects in a mental process it is necessary that step by 
step brain motions are followed by other brain motions, 
but some of the brain motions are accompanied by phases 
of feeling, representing mental acts of thought. Definite 
thoughts are the inside accompaniment of definite brain 
motions and the nature of thought depends on definite 
forms of brain structures. And this definite structure 
gives them the faculty of acting. The meaning of words 
or the mental aspect is not endowed with energy, but 
definite brain structures which are endowed with energy 
are possessed of meaning, and when their feeling is stirred 
thought originates and assumes in the mind a definite 
meaning accompanied by the commotion of its correspond- 


ing definite structure. It is this brain motion which forms 
a chain in the causation and here is the point at which mind 
actually acts on body. 

It is not the mind itself or the feeling which is present 
in our mind that forms a link in the chain of causation, but 
it is the energized nerve which stirs the brain and acts as 
the causal link. It is not impossible that by some diseased 
condition the nerve fails to act, and in that case there may 
be a state of will without the ability to execute it a disease 
described by Ribot under the name aboulia. 

Thus a critique of the theory of parallelism may become 
a verbal quibble. If we understand by mind merely the sub- 
jective side we could speak of the inability of mind or of feel- 
ing to act on the body, but if we understand by mind not only 
the subjective aspect of a mental process but also the bodily 
commotion of the brain which it ensouls, we would have 
to say that there is no question but that the mind influences 
the body. We must not lose sight of the fact that feeling 
is a mere abstraction, and if by this abstraction we mean 
only the subjective side of a process, only the mere actual 
feeling to the exclusion of its physical condition or accom- 
paniment, it would naturally be illogical to make it the 
efficient cause in the chain of causation. But if we include 
in feeling its bodily condition we naturally include the 
physiological activity which is freighted with energy and 
forms a link in the chain of cerebral causation. 

Mr. Broad certainly does not present a theory of his 
own which would be acceptable, or give us a satisfactory ex- 
planation as to the nature of mind. No! He leaves us 
in the dark as to what the mind really is or can be, and 
for all I can see in his proposition, the mind is a mysterious 
creation of a dualistic conception which is endowed with 
several mysterious qualities, acting on bodily forces in an 
unaccountable way. 

According to Fechner feeling does not act on mind, 


because motions only can be the causes in a chain ot causa- 
tion; what is not mechanical cannot produce an effect, for 
causation is mechanical. Feeling is different from mechan- 
ical action, but it is inefficient not because it is different, 
but because it is not motion. In order to be a cause, or 
a link in the chain of causation, it must move or push in 
order to produce a change of any kind. If the feeling 
in its narrowest meaning cannot stir motions in the brain, 
the accompanying brain motion may or probably will do it. 
In bearing this in mind we find no contradiction in the 
theory of parallelism. 

Mr. Broad favors a "two-sided interactionism" in which 
"the mind sometimes acts on the body and the body some- 
times acts on the mind." He condemns epiphenomenalism, 
according to which feeling is an epiphenomenon or super- 
added feature standing outside the regular normal causa- 
tion of physico-chemical activity. Next in foolishness to 
this theory he regards parallelism. He claims with great 
insistence that the body is not a purely physical and chem- 
ical system, and in this latter point we can agree fully and 
without any reservation, for in the scale of natural phe- 
nomena we have a domain of purely physical and chemical 
phenomena and while some scientists assume that vital 
processes are purely physical and chemical we cannot deny 
that psychical transactions possess a feature that cannot 
be regarded as physical or chemical, but possesses some- 
thing that is absolutely new. 

If rightly understood there can be no quarrel on this 
point, and we fully agree that the influence of psychical 
items does make a difference in the chain of causation. 
If it is not the feeling portion of a telegram which makes 
a man jump from his seat and rush into action, it is the 
meaning of it which meets with an understanding of a 
threatening danger or whatever it may be, and this mean- 
ing is conveyed by the form of letters, which according to 


former education possess a definite meaning. The forms 
of certain words together with the meaning with which 
they are endowed constitute the factor which causes the 
reaction and sets energy free, just as a key unlocks the bolts 
through the arrangement of its wards and it opens the lock 
on account of the shape of its indentations which fit into 
the corresponding shape of the lock. It is this correspond- 
ence of the meaning of words or of symbols which makes 
the psychical portion of interrelated events efficient, and 
it is this fittingness, this correspondence, not exactly the 
pressure and the energy, which constitutes the significance 
of spirituality. Thus we might very well say that it is 
not the energy or pressure of the key that opens the lock, 
but it is the very form, the singular complexity of its wards 
which in the Yale lock is reduced to a curve on the stem 
of the key. The mechanical pressure of the key as well as of 
the nerve is the moving power that is indispensable in the 
chain of causation, but the correspondence of the meaning 
of words determines an action in the same way as the 
proper key opens the lock into which it fits. 

Thus it is seen that in judging of the theory of paral- 
lelism we must first of all understand its meaning and 
not confuse its issues. It is to be feared that Mr. Broad 
construes a parallelism of his own and condemns it on 
the ground of a misrepresentation which is either miscon- 
strued or possibly a wrong presentation. At any rate it 
seems to me that Mr. Broad's criticism does not upset or 
invalidate the theory of parallelism, which so far as can be 
seen is the only one on which a monistic theory of the 
interaction of body and mind can be constructed. 




PROFESSIONAL philosophers have published many 
volumes trying to solve the problem, whether our ideas 
of things are true because they work or whether they work 
because they are true. To my mind the realities of life, 
and of acquiring knowledge, present no such issue, and the 
discussion of it has had its chief utility as a necessary step 
toward the discovery of its futility, and so contributing 
one factor to our understanding of intellectual evolution. 
To exhibit my justification for this belief is the reason for 
this essay. Incidentally it may appear that by adopting 
the first of these formulas to the exclusion of the second 
one some pragmatists are guilty of that same absolutism 
"for which they so generously criticise others. 

Here as everywhere we must seek the solution of our 
problem on the basis of a higher intellectual level than that 
on which it arose. Thus the desire for more efficient ob- 
servation and a more inclusive synthesis of the factors of 
the problem will lead us to re-examine the seemingly con- 
flicting formulas with the view of translating them into 
concepts of behavioristic psychology. From this new view- 
point perhaps we will see the old formulas as presenting 
mere incomplete and dissociated aspects of the same cog- 
nitive process. From this psychologic aspect we may also 
achieve such an integration as will rid us of our seeming 


The statement of a common premise will be followed by 
a brief analytic restatement of some of the behavioristic 
aspects of acquiring knowledge in so far as these seem 
material to the succeeding discussion. After that will come 
a statement of the synthetic view, and a psycho-analytic 
suggestion as to the probable cause, conducing to the past 
dissociated consideration of these intimately related for- 

As a common premise for my discussion I assume that 
the limitations of our thinking faculties are such that we 
cannot know things in themselves, but only some incomplete 
and imperfect aspects of things. For the future discussion 
it is important to bear in mind that the belief in the impossi- 
bility of knowing things in themselves rests in part upon 
the fact that to know things in themselves seems to involve 
what is supposedly an impossible identity of the arbitrarily 
distinguished knowing mind and the things known. 

This being true, we acquire only some incomplete views 
of some aspects of objective reality, by becoming conscious 
of an affect-producing relationship therewith. It then 
seems that all that any of us think we know, must embody 
some imperfect aspect of things, and must always hold, at 
least, some tiny resemblance to truth. From this viewpoint 
of a contrast between the thing known and the knowing 
mind, perhaps our conception of a thing can never be an 
exact transcript of objective reality, because to be that it 
must also become identical with it, yet being derived from 
a relation with realities, or being some crude awareness 
of such related existence, it cannot be absolutely false. 
Since we cannot yet see intelligence imminent in things, 
nor in the relation among things, it follows that our con- 
ception of things, which is an imperfect understanding of 
their behavior in and during changing relationships, attains 
varying degrees of approach to identity with, or to an 
exact transcript of such relation with and between "objec- 


lives." The evolutionary rating of this growing intelli- 
gence depends upon the diversity, number and complexity 
of the aspects of things and their relationships which have 
entered into our affect-objects, that is, of which we have 
become aware and which we have coordinated in our 
awareness, and synthetized in the shaping of our concepts. 
This is only a behavioristic and descriptive way of saying 
that we grow toward a perfect accuracy of concepts as 
transcripts of things and of the relationships of these, ac- 
cording to the efficiency and extent of our observations and 
the relative completeness of their coordinations. 

From this we conclude that no concept is wholly false, 
and that the only judgments which should be passed upon 
concepts are those which express an evolutionary classi- 
fication according to relative degrees of approach toward 
the completeness of our awareness of things (behavior- 
istically identified) in the first place, a relation mong things 
in the next place, and our relationship to things and to 
inter-objective relations. All are essential to an exact 
transcript of reality. These also measure roughly the de- 
grees to which our intelligence is removed away from the 
mere intellectualization of desire. 

The progressing refinement and completeness of our 
concepts depends in the first place upon our efficiency as 
observers. This efficiency in turn depends upon the kind 
of sense-organs which we possess ; the degree to which they 
are educated and developed toward and by means of extra- 
verted interests ; the extent to which our sense-organs are 
supplemented by mechanical contrivances, the quantity and 
complexity of previously related material which is avail- 
able and is coordinated in each present observation and 
judgment; and lastly the number of behavioristic relation- 
ships, and the degree of complexity and remoteness of 
these, which are coordinated within each last concept. It 
is this stored material of past experience which determines 


the multiplicity and complexity of the conditions which we 
can and do prescribe for testing the workability of each 
present theory of things. So then, we judge relative de- 
grees in the perfection of our conception of things and 
their relationships, by the relative degrees of multiplicity, 
variety and complexity of the conditions under which the 
test of workability is applied. (For further discussion of 
this evolutionary classification see my article on "Intellec- 
tual Evolution and Pragmatism/' in The Monist, January, 
1916. There I also describe, yet too briefly, my concept of 
the affect-object.) 

From this brief description of evolution in the knowing 
process it seems to me clear that two, purely hypothetical, 
extreme propositions have become apparent. For the first, 
we may assume a person without any previous acquaint- 
ance with the workability of any idea. In such a hypothet- 
ical individual, if thought were possisble, it would be a 
pure intellectualization of desire. In this hypothetical case, 
there would be no possible way for such a person to decide 
whether his first claim of truth contained any portion of 
the true aspects of objectives, except by the present or 
future test of workability. From such a view-point, mani- 
festly such a being, bereft of all experience, can only say 
that the "concepts" (desires) contain a measure of truth, 
in so far as thereafter they can be made to work. Having 
no other experience or prior concept, nor any general con- 
cept capable of a deductive application, it cannot be other- 
wise than that for such a person the first concept would 
seem true only because it works, and later so far as it 

The second proposition which seems to me equally self- 
evident is this : Let us assume that our conception of things 
had attained the impossible perfection ; that it has become 
an exact transcript of objective reality, which is only an- 
other way of saying that the knowing intelligence is found 


imminent in, and so far identical with, the things and rela- 
tions known. In this situation, there could be no possible 
failure of the test of workability. One having attained 
such a state of perfection could say "my ideas about things 
work only because they are true." 

Of course no mere human is wholly in either of the 
hypothetical extremes which are involved in the foregoing 
propositions, and that is why the controversy under con- 
sideration is barren. According to our intellectual devel- 
opment we will see only one, or will emphasize one or the 
other, of these formulas born of an inefficient observation 
inducing believe in an impossible extreme situation. 

Even in earliest infancy it cannot be said that we are 
wholly void of experiencial knowledge. Likewise we never 
attain such intellectual maturity that our concepts are ac- 
curate and complete transcripts of any objective realities. 
Intellectual life, in the sense of continuous change, is in a 
constant flux between these two extremes. In relative im- 
maturity our concepts are mainly the intellectualization of 
desires, with a minimum of the check of past or present 
tests of workability. Toward the other extreme, we ap- 
proach to a situation where there is a maximum of the 
checking influence of past conscious and unconscious for- 
mations of affect-objects, which tend to be automatically 
and unconsciously applied. 

So then, it is inevitably true that each of us is in an 
ever changing state of development between the infantile 
condition, where our concepts are entitled to presumptions 
of extremely slight correspondence with any objective, 
until after the conscious subjection to at least some simple 
test of workability; and that other stage of development, 
where our concepts may be so largely the products of the 
experiential checks upon infantile desires as tend toward 
the presumption that they will work because they approach 
relatively near to an exact transcript of the realities. 


So then from this point of view, of a changing and 
growing mind, in an ever changing relationship with 
equally changing objectives which are undergoing changes 
in interobjective relationships, we see that each of the seem- 
ingly conflicting formulas contains an imperfect aspect of 
relationships such as are at present incapable of even exact 
definitions, or complete separation. If studied with the 
desire to understand the behavior of human energy in the 
process of achieving knowledge, then the controversy under 
consideration looks like a mere war of words, because it 
does not describe a real conflict of forces, and so is not 
adequately related to any behavioristic study of such forces. 

There are no concepts which are not somehow ultimately 
founded upon experiential relations with objectives, no 
matter how utterly void of that experience our conscious 
memory may be, nor how small the resemblance between 
the concept and the realities. However unconscious we 
are of the influence of that experience, the fact that we 
acquired the concept shows that at least a feeling confi- 
dence in its workability has been impressed upon us un- 
awares, by the experiences themselves. Hence the exist- 
ence of a corresponding assurance that the concept tran- 
scribes the reality with substantial accuracy even though 
we know nothing of the mechanism by which that feeling- 
conviction was engendered. We simply know because we 
feel and are firmly convinced in proportion as we are 
strongly agitated by desire. 

So far we believe our concepts work because the ex- 
perience upon which they are founded has left an impress 
like unto that of their having "worked" ; that is to say, we 
have a desire that it shall be so and an accompanying feel- 
ing a feeling-conviction that it is so, and that conviction, 
were its source and mechanism to be verbally formulated, 
would be expressed as being warranted by pragmatic tests 
which had already been unconsciously applied. Before we 


can consciously apply tests of workability we must have 
done a little generalizing, because the conscious applica- 
tion of pragmatic tests is partly a deductive process, even 
though at the moment we are unconscious of that aspect 
of it. To the extent that we consiously apply further tests 
of workability we find that the concepts work just so far 
as they are true. When we attain to a consciousness that 
we are making deductive application of general ideas, we 
tend to say our ideas work because they are true. As we 
see this, and coordinate it with our earlier exposition of the 
inductive aspect of this behavioristic psychology, we again 
come to the conclusion that there is no such conflict as is 
postulated in the pragmatic issue. 

In the realities of acquiring knowledge both formulas 
are always actually and practically implicit. Persons who 
affirm that our ideas are true only because they work, are 
for the moment seeing only the inductive part of the process 
which perhaps is the first that we become conscious of in 
our individual development. That person who affirms that 
our ideas of things work only because they are true is see- 
ing the complex intellectual behavior only in its deductive 
aspects, and is forgetting that sometimes our ideas seem to 
work because they are relatively false and the conditions 
of the applied pragmatic test are too simple to expose the 
error. When we acquire a synthetic view of the behavior 
of the human energy operative in the knowing process, we 
see the inductive and deductive methods proceed inter- 
dependently even in the unconscious activities. In the more 
highly developed states of conscious supervision over our 
intellectual processes, we carefully provide for the inter- 
action and check of both methods. So we tend to become 
aware of the interaction of the modes of conduct presented 
by both the formulas in the pragmatic issue at the begin- 
ning of this essay. Each represents an incomplete aspect 


of the realities actually involved in the process of con- 
sciously developing intelligence. 

If that is so, then why was there ever a philosophic 
issue made of it ? I suspect it is because even philosophers 
have their unsolved personal problems their subjective 
conflicts. In philosophers, as in children and hystericals, 
these conflicts, induced by a past thwarted integration, 
conduce to negativism, that is to the future dissociation 
of different aspects of the inspected realities, and so tend 
to inhibit and limit the larger synthetic understanding of 
their problems, including the philosophic ones. 

If in infancy a future philosopher was habitually com- 
pelled to subordinate the method of his expenditure of 
energy to the authority of a parent instead of the arbitra- 
ment of "facts," he may easily grow to maturity of years 
with an emotional aversion to accepting things as they 
are, or their interpretation according to the accepted author- 
ities, even in philosophy . If his own intellect is sufficiently 
fertile, he will see some aspects of things and of their rela- 
tions, which his fellow philosophers have overlooked. If 
his aversion to "authority" is sufficiently strong, that aver- 
sion will preclude the coordinating of his new aspect with 
what is reconcilable to it, in that which is already accepted, 
and will tend to see the new only in dissociation, that is in 
its negating aspects, as a conflict with that which is already 
accepted. Thus probably grew the pragmatic controversy 
depicted in the first paragraph. The integrating process 
represents a relatively higher evolutionary level. 

In this case the synthetic aspect of the mechanism of 
growing intelligence is missed by pragmatists who make 
a philosophic cult of one of these related formulas to the 
exclusion of the others. In consequence of this limitation 
upon their powers of coordination, they are impelled to 
frame up verbal defenses for their unintegrated aspects of 


things, and such formulas as present the seeming conflict 
in the first paragraph of this essay are the result. 

If now we re-read these formulas and coordinate them 
as different aspects of the behavior of human forces, it is 
easy to see that the apparent conflict of theory is due to 
inaccuracy of observation and statement, probably induced 
by the necessities of repressed emotional conflicts of the 
past, which have hitherto precluded, on the part of par- 
ticular philosophers, efficient effort toward the coordination 
of the two formulas into a more complete understanding 
of these related psychologic factors. 




"Now Philosophy is like unto a Garden, wherein 
upspring all manner of flowers and herbage, sweet 
of scent and potent to heal. And the Soul is like 
unto a Moth, leaving the cocoon of the Uncon- 
scious to flit through the twilight, seeking the 
Nectar of Life. Now within the Garden hovers 
the Soul amid the herbage and flowers, darkly 
swaying in the dim starlight and the shadow ; 
hither and thither, drawn or repelled, lured by a 
remembered fragrance or driven back by an un- 
familiar form that is but half revealed thus the 
Soul wanders through the mysterious dusk of the 
Garden." From The Golden Scroll of Krotona. 

ETERNAL stars that heaven's hill bedew, 
Ye looked upon the manger where Mankind 
Lay wrapped in rags; ye heard the angels sing, 
When royal Magi spread their gifts of myrrh 
And frankincense upon a shabrack coarse ; 
Ye gleamed above the boy at merry play 
In Nazareth, and wept at Golgotha 
Smiled on the resurrection, and, at last, 
World-wounded, he ascended unto you. 

Eternal stars that heaven's hill bedew, 
Ye heard Creation's grand exordium 
The moan of seas in the azoic age, 
The din of wood and jungle ; then, anon, 
The war-song of the savage fierce and free, 
Grim troglodyte and fleet lacustrian; 


At last the pulse of forges and the roar 
Of teeming cities an aubade of joy, 
Thrush-throated like the chant of cherubim. 

Attend ! Mine is no plaint of selfish woe : 
Weeping o'er Niobe and Tantalus 
O'er Truth, o'er Justice, and o'er Liberty. 

Tears shed for butchered Innocence, the blood 

Clotted upon the lacerated back 

Of Helotry, the virus- from the fangs 

Dript of dread hydras preying upon Man, 

The sighs of sunless centuries, each curse 

That livid lips of trodden Truth have framed, 

Pour into Hate's alembic and distill 

Into revenge into a cup of gall 

For Tyranny, in stupor gluttonous 

Huddled on filthy couch. What of a world 

Where Wrong is fattened, Folly wears the crown, 

While Justice spreads her ermine over straw, 

And Learning feeds upon the hedgerow haws? 

Shame on humanity! I have known wights 

Who daubed their cheeks as silly damsels do, 

And strutted round with rings upon their hands, 

Yet sat in senates where to counsel met 

The sceptered wisdom of a mighty age. 

I have seen gypsum hawked about the streets, 

Figures of poets, by a man whose soul 

Soared far in song above the paltry souls 

Of those he modeled as the unpitying sun 

Above his fevered head. 

Is there a God 

To mete our merits and adjudge our fails, 
And could he be thus blind ? 


The peopled sea 

Hath coral castles through whose lurid aisles 
White mermaids flash and hippocamps disport 
Amid the sunken argosies of Time, 
Patined with gold and crusted o'er with gems 
All these are thine, thou unborn QEdipus, 
Who canst unveil the riddle of this Sphinx ! 

Yet, shall we say the rich, ripe fruit of Time 
Fell from the womb of Chance ? The dreams, fresh- 

From lustral fountains by a naiad troop, 
And borne like dew in lily chalices 
To my lone couch, are witnesses that still 
A spark survives of what the race hath been. 
See yonder shadow cross the sun ; observe 
The stoop of Atlas; note the line of care 
Which mars the brow of kings ; or hear the shriek 
Of the mad maenad War can Glory be 
Attained save by the thorny track of Woe ? 

The universe proclaims there is a God ! 
From tongueless chaos, lutulent and foul, 
He culled the vying wonders that we view; 
Scatters the violets upon the heath, 
And paints the silken petals of the rose ; 
He bids the planets sing aye, and he feeds 
The adder's tooth with venom ; strews the rocks 
Upon the pathway of the mariner; 
His whirlwinds filch what his beneficence 
Hath lavished on the orchard and the farm ; 
Anguished we cry for light, and see the forked 
Tongue of the tempest lick the midnight's brow. 

Lo, now, what festering horrors feed our grief : 


Beauty decays, Nobility is slain, 
Sin sKeds his larve, and curst Hypocrisy 
Barters his whine and rheum for place and gold. 
'T may be, if there's a Providence all-wise, 
The far untraversed forest tracts were grown 
That on the Judgment Day there might not be 
Dearth of good gallows-timber on this globe. 

Tiptoe, the twilight muses on the hill; 

Should it descend into the slumbering town 

To gild the misery of the driven mob, 

Or, fleeing to primeval solitudes, 

Hold discourse with the laughing deities 

Of hort and vale, caress the airy fern, 

And court the sylvan calm upon the sward's 

Pied flocculence, where, mean solicitude 

Being banished, all the elder gods again 

Resume their interrupted reign, to bid 

Sorrow and Sin and Shame begone from earth. 

Man must approach to God by purity, 
E'en as the highest mountains, undefiled 
By human footfall, where the virgin snow 
Lies chaste and spotless 'neath the amorous sun, 
Are nearest heaven. 

Let us, too, be brave ! 

Canst thou bribe thunderstorms with honeyed words, 
Or curb with sandhills the choleric sea ? 
Where Sorrow strikes, let honorable scars 
Remain, the blazon of our fortitude. 
Be not of such slight, puny courage as 
To drink nepenthes, or that slumbrous juice 
Of dream-compelling poppy; can there be 
Virtue more potent in a wayside weed 


Than in the trodden heart's tear-wine of hope? 

What laurel for the soul if Vice be shorn 

Of her allurement, or the sword of Sin 

Be dulled by sorcery ? Could a coward hear 

The prating trump of Triumph, and become 

Not brave ? T may be there is no God ; whence then 

Proceed the whisperings that abjure ourselves ? 

Could the chill alchemy of atheism 

Transmute one earthy atom of this race 

To the rich metal of divinity? 

Yea, there is One that walks in human hearts, 

Sandaled with rose-leaves, and with gentle touch 

Weeds out all malice ; balm upon her lips, 

She stoops to kiss the humblest flowering thing; 

The sculptured lily she awakes to life, 

Paints irised poems on the sterile rock, 

And strows the sod with immortality. 

She leads the orchestra of brook and breeze, 

Of bird and bee, in symphonies that swell, 

Dulcet adagios of a seraph choir, 

Across the sobbing solitude. She smiles, 

And Sorrow is no more sojourning Grief 

Shoulders his wallet and forsakes thy roof. 

Her robes of gossamer in cirrous twills 

Bear health and happiness upon their seam ; 

Touch this, and thou art whole ! In her tranced eyes 

The gorgeous gonfalon of Day unfolds; 

And Peace, sweet child of life's lorn Enna, sleeps 

Upon her bosom. 

Have ye heard her name; 

Knelt in her temples ; walked among her groves ? 
Love that doth thrill the molecule to dance, 
And string the cosmic lyre with golden stars 


Love that doth kiss the lids of Death ajar, 

Enchantress of the demiurgic word, 

Mother of men and genetrix of time 

At once the Law, the King, the Throne; at once 

Doer and Deed, the Singer and the Song; 

Breath of the gods that fills the lungs of space, 

In which the suns are sparks of dust immerst ; 

The earliest Element and latest Form, 

Orbit and Orb alike immortal Love, 

The promise and the potency of Life ; 

The gladness and the glory of the world ! 




The conceptions of time and space which I wish to develop 
here have arisen on the basis of experimental physics. Therein 
lies their strength. Their tendency is radical. From now on space- 
in-itself and time-in-itself are destined to be reduced to shadows, 
and only a sort of union of the two will retain an independent 


I wish first to show how from the mechanics now generally 
accepted we might arrive by purely mathematical considerations at 
a change in our ideas of space and time. The equations of New- 
ton's mechanics show a double invariance. Their form is maintained, 
first, if we subject our system of original coordinates in space to 
any change of position] second, if we change its state of motion, 
that is to say, impart to it any uniform translation ; neither does the 
zero-point of time play any part. We are accustomed to con- 
sidering the axioms of geometry as settled before we approach 
the axioms of mechanics, and therefore these two invariances are 
seldom mentioned together. Each of them represents a certain 
group of transformations, which transform the differential equa- 
tions of mechanics back into themselves. The existence of the first 
group is regarded as a fundamental property of space. It is usually 
preferred to treat the second group with contempt in order to 

1 Lecture delivered at the eightieth Congress of Naturalists at Cologne, 
September 21, 1908. Published in Physikalische Zeitschrift, X (1909, pp. 104- 
111, and Jahresbericht der deutschen Mathematiker-Vereinigung, Vol. XVIII, 
pp. 75-88; Gesammelte Abhandlungen, edited by D. Hilbert, pp. 431-444; also 
separately, Leipsic, B. G. Teubner, 1909. Translated from the German by 
Edward H. Carus who herewith expresses his gratitude to Prof. W. B. Smith 
of Tulane University for many suggestive criticisms. 


pass lightly over the fact that we can never decide from physical 
phenomena whether the space we have assumed to be at rest is not 
after all in a state of uniform translation. Thus these two groups 
have an entirely separate existence, side by side. Their quite 
heterogeneous character may have discouraged their combination; 
but precisely this combination into one group gives us food for 
thought. We shall try to illustrate these relations graphically. Let 
x, y, z be rectangular coordinates of space and let t represent time. 
As they occur in our experience places and times are always com- 
bined. No one has ever observed a place except at a time, nor a 
time except in a place. But here I am still respecting the dogma 
that space and time have each an independent significance. I shall 
call a point in space at a definite time, that is, a system of values, 
* y> z> t> a "world-point (Weltpunkt). The multiplicity of all 
possible systems of values x, y, z, t I shall call the world. I might 
boldly sketch four world-axes on the blackboard. Even one such 
axis consists merely of vibrating molecules and travels with the 
earth in space, thus alone furnishing us with sufficient food for 
abstract thought; the somewhat greater abstraction involved in the 
number four does not disturb the mathematician. In order not 
to have an empty void anywhere we shall assume that there is 
something perceptible everywhere and at all times. To avoid the 
terms matter or electricity we shall call this something substance. 
Let us direct our attention to the substance-point (substantiellen 
Punkt) at the world-point x, y, z, t, and imagine that we are able 
to recognize this substance-point at every other time. Let the 
changes dx t dy, dz, of the space coordinates of this substance-point 
correspond to an element of time dt. We thus obtain as a represen- 
tation so to speak of the eternal course of the substance-point a 
curve in the world, a world-line whose points can be determined 
uniquely in terms of a parameter t from -00 to +00. The whole 
world stands resolved into such world-lines, and I wish at once to 
make the fundamental assertion that according to my opinion phys- 
ical laws may find their most complete expression as mutual rela- 
tions among these world-lines. 

By the concepts space and time, the x, y, ^-manifold t = and 
its two sides t > and t < become separated. If for simplicity 
we keep the zero point of time and space fixed, then the first men- 
tioned group of mechanics means that we can give any rotation 
around the origin to the x, y, -axes in t = corresponding to the 



homogeneous linear transformations of the expression x z + 
into itself. 

But the second group or invariance means that without changing 
the expressions of the laws of mechanics, we can replace x, y, z, t by 
x-at, y-pt, z-yt, t, a, , y being any constants whatever. The 
time-axis can accordingly be given any direction whatever toward 
the upper half -world t > 0. Now what connection has the condi- 
tion of orthogonality in space with this complete upward freedom 
of the time-axis? 

To exhibit the connection we take a positive parameter c and 
consider the locus 

It consists of two sheets separated by t = analogous to a hyper- 
boloid of two sheets. Considering the sheet in the region t > 
we now conceive those homogeneous linear transformations of x, y, 
z, t into four new variables x', y', z f , t', in which the expression for 
this sheet of the hyperboloid in the new variables corresponds to 
the original expression. Evidently the rotations of space about 
the origin belong to these transformations. We shall next obtain 
a full understanding of the remaining transformations by consider- 
ing one in which 3; and z remain unchanged. Let us draw (Fig. 1) 
the intersection of this sheet with the plane of the x- and f-axes, the 


Fig. 1. 

upper branch of the hyperbola c 2 1 2 - x z = 1 with its asymptotes. Then 
let any radius vector OA' of this branch of the hyperbola be con- 
structed from the origin O, let the tangent to the hyperbola at A' 
be extended to the right until it intersects the asymptote at B', let 
OA' B' be completed to form the parallelogram OA' B' C', and finally 
for later developments let B'C' be continued to D', its intersection 
with the x-axis. If we then take OC and OA' as axes for parallel 
coordinates x r and f with units OC'=1, OA' = l/c, then this branch 
of the hyperbola again has the equation c 2 t' 2 -x' 2 = l, t > 0, and the 


transition from x, y, z, t to x 1 , y, z, t' is of the type under considera- 
tion. We now add to these transformations all arbitrary shif tings 
of the space and time origin, and in this way construct a group of 
transformations obviously still dependent on the parameter c, which 
I designate by G c . 

If we now let c increase to infinity, \/c thus converging to zero, 
we see from the figure described that the branch of the hyperbola 
always approaches closer to the jr-axis and the angle between the 
asymptotes widens into a straight angle. At the limit the special 
transformation changes into one in which the f'-axis can have any 
upward direction and ^ steadily approaches nearer to x. In con- 
sequence of this it is clear that the group G c , in the limit for c = oo, 
thus as the group G^, becomes the complete group of Newton's 
mechanics. Under these circumstances and since G c is mathemat- 
ically more intelligible than G^, , a mathematician in the free play 
of his imagination might well have had the idea that, after all, the 
phenomena of nature do not actually remain invariant for the group 
G^, but rather for a group G c with a c that is definite and finite 
but very large if taken in the ordinary units. Such an idea would 
have been an extraordinary triumph of pure mathematics. Now, 
although mathematics has here been caught napping she still has 
the satisfaction that, owing to her happy antecedents, through senses 
made keen by their exercise in broad vistas, she is capable of grasp- 
ing at once the far-reaching consequences of such a transformation 
of our conception of nature. 

I shall now indicate what value of c will finally come into con- 
sideration. For c we shall substitute the velocity of light in a 
vacuum. In order to avoid the terms "space" and "void" we can 
define this magnitude as the ratio between the electromagnetic and 
the electrostatic units of electric quantity. 

The existence of the invariance of natural laws for the group 
G c under consideration would now be expressed as follows: 

From the totality of natural phenomena we can derive with 
ever increasing exactitude by successively closer and closer approxi- 
mations, a system of reference x, y, z, and t, space and time, in terms 
of which these phenomena are then represented according to definite 
laws. But this system of reference is by no means uniquely deter- 
mined thereby. It is still possible to change this system of reference 
at will corresponding to the transformations of the above mentioned 
group Gc, without changing thereby the expression of natural laws. 


For example, according to the described figure we can also 
call t the time, but then in connection with it we must necessarily 
define space by the manifold of the three parameters, x', y, z, in 
which case physical laws would be expressed in terms of x', y, z, t', 
exactly the same as in terms of x, y, 2, t. According to this there 
would be in the world not that particular space but an infinite num- 
ber of spaces, just as there is an infinite number of planes in three- 
dimensional space. Three-dimensional geometry becomes a chapter 
of four-dimensional physics. You now understand why I said at 
the outset that space and time are to fade away into mere shadows 
and that only a world-in-itself will exist. 


Now the question is, what circumstances force the changed 
conception of space and time on us? Does it never, as a matter of 
fact, contradict phenomena ? And finally, has it advantages for the 
description of phenomena? 

Before we enter into these questions, let us first make an im- 
portant observation. When we individualize space and time in any 
manner, then a straight line parallel to the f-axis corresponds as 
world-line to a substance point at rest, a straight line inclined to the 
f-axis corresponds to a uniformly moving substance-point, and 
a world- line curved at will corresponds to a not-uniformly moving 
substance point. If we consider the world-line passing through 
any world-point x, y, z, t, and if we there find it parallel to any 
radius vector OA' of the above-mentioned hyperboloid sheet, we may 
introduce OA' as the new time-axis, and in the new conception 
of space and time thus obtained substance appears at rest at the 
world-point in question. Let us now introduce this fundamental 
axiom : 

By a suitable determination of time and space, the substance 
present at any world-point whatever may always be conceived of as 
at rest. 

This axiom means that in every world-point the expression 

c z dt z -dx 2 -dy z -dz 2 

is always positive or, what amounts to the same thing, every velocity 
v is always less than c. According to this, c would exist as upper 
limit for all substance velocities and in this fact would lie the deeper 
significance of the magnitude c. In this other form the axiom has in 
it something which at first sight is unsatisfactory. But we must 


consider that now a modified mechanics will supersede the old 
one into which will enter the square root of the above combination 
of differentials of the second degree, so that cases involving veloci- 
ties exceeding that of light will only play some such part as figures 
with imaginary coordinates play in geometry. 

The impulse and actual motive for the assumption of the 
group G c originated through the fact 2 that the differential equation 
for the transmission of light-waves in empty space is actually char- 
acterized by the Group G e . On the other hand the concept of rigid 
bodies has a meaning only in a mechanics with the group G . If 
we have an optics with G c and if on the other hand rigid bodies 
existed, it is easy to perceive that by the two hyperboloid sheets 
belonging to G and to G w a definite t direction would be deter- 
mined, and this would have the further result that we must be able 
to detect by means of suitable rigid optical instruments in the 
laboratory, a change in the phenomena at different orientations 
with reference to the direction of the earth's motion. All attempts, 
however, at this detection, especially a famous interference ex- 
periment of Michelson, had a negative result. To find an explana- 
tion for this, H. A. Lorentz constructed a hypothesis the value 
of which depends on the invariance of optics for the group G c . 
According to Lorentz, every body in motion suffers a contraction 
in the direction of the motion, and for the velocity v this contraction 
is in the ratio 

This hypothesis sounds very fantastic, for the contraction is 
not to be regarded as a consequence of resistance in the ether but 
entirely as a gift from above, a phenomenon accompanying the 
state of motion. 

I shall now show by our figure that the Lorentz hypothesis is 
entirely equivalent to the new conception of space and time through 
which it may much more readily be understood. If, for simplicity's 
sake we ignore y and z and consider a world of one space dimen- 
sion, then parallel strips, an upright one like the f-axis, and one 
inclined to it (see Fig. 1) represent the path respectively of a 
stationary and a uniformly moving body which in both cases main- 
tain a constant spatial extent. If OA' is parallel to the second strip, 
we can introduce t' as time and x' as the space coordinate, and the 

2 What is practically an application of this fact is to be found as early as 
1887 in a contribution by W. Voight in Nachrichten der K. Gesellschaft der 
Wissenschaften zu Gottingen, mathematisch-physikalische Klasse, page 41. 


second body then appears at rest and the first in uniform motion. 
We now assume that the first body conceived as at rest has the 
length I, that is, the cross-section PP of the first strip on the ^r-axis 
= /.OC where OC denotes the unit on the ^r-axis ; and on the other 
hand that the second body conceived as at rest has the same length /, 
that is, the cross-section of the secondstrip, measured parallel to the 
^r'-axis gives the equation Q' Q' = / . OC. We now have in these two 
bodies constructions of two equal Lorentz electrons, one at rest and 
one in uniform motion. If we keep the original coordinates x, t, 
fixed, then the section QQ of the respective strip parallel to the 
x-axis, must be regarded as an extension of the second electron. 
Now it is clear since Q'Q' = /.OC that QQ = /.OD'. A simple cal- 
culation shows that if (dx/dt) =v for the second strip, 

and therefore also PP:QQ= 1 : VI- (v z /c 2 ). But this is the 
meaning of the hypothesis of Lorentz on the contraction of electrons 
in motion. If, on the other hand, adopting the system of reference 
x f f, we regard the second electron as at rest, then the length of the 
first will be denoted by the cross section P' P' of its strip parallel to 
OC, and we would find the first electron shortened in exactly the 
same proportion with reference to the second. For it is according to 
the figure: 

P'P':Q'Q' = OD:OC = OD':OC = QQ:PP. 

Lorentz called the combination t' of x and t the place-time of 
the uniformly moving electron and used a physical construction of 
this conception for the better understanding of the contraction 
hypothesis. But it remained for A. Einstein 3 to recognize clearly 
that the time of one electron was just as good as that of the other, 
that is, that t and t' are to be treated alike. Thus time was the first 
to be discarded as a concept determined uniquely by phenomena. 

Neither Einstein nor Lorentz disturbed the conception of space, 
perhaps for the reason that in the special transformation where the 
x', t' plane coincides with the x, t plane it is possible to interpret the 
.r-axis of space as remaining fixed in its position. To loftily ignore 
the conception of space in similar wise is doubtless due to the bold- 
ness of mathematical discipline. After this further step which how- 
ever is indispensable for a true understanding of the group G c , the 
expression postulate of relativity for the demand for an invariance 

3 A. Einstein, Annalen der Physik, XVII, 1905, p. 891; Jahrbuch der 
Radioaktivitat und Electronik, IV, 1907, p. 411. 



in the group G c , seems to me very weak. Since the postulate conies 
to mean that phenomena occur only in the four-dimensional world 
of space and time but the projection into space and into time can 
still be assumed with a certain degree of freedom, I would rather call 
this proposition the postulate of the absolute world (or for short, 


Through the world-postulate a similar kind of treatment of the 
four determining elements x, y, z, t, becomes possible. Through it, 
as I shall now show, we gain an insight into the forms under which 
physical laws operate. Above all, the conception of acceleration 
becomes sharply defined. 

Fig. 2. 

I shall use a geometrical mode of expression which at once 
suggests itself, at the same time tacitly ignoring z in the triplet 
x, y, z. I take any world-point, O, as the space-time origin. The 
cone C 2 t 2 -x 2 -y 2 -z 2 = with O as vertex (Fig. 2) consists of two 
parts, one with the values of / < 0, another with the values of t > 0. 
The first, the "past" cone (Nachkegel) of O consists, let us say, of 
all world-points which "send light to O"; the second, the "future" 
cone (Vorkegel) of O, consists of all points which "receive light 
from O." The region bounded only by the future cone of O may 
be designated this side of O (diesseits von O), and that bounded 
only by the past cone, the other side of O (jenseits von O). The 
hyperboloid sheet considered above, 

F = c 2 t 2 -x 2 -y 2 -z 2 = l, f >0, falls to the other side of O. 
The region between the cones is filled with the hyperboloidic forms 
of one sheet 

for all constant positive values of k 2 . Of importance for us are 
the hyperbolas with O as center which lie on the latter loci. The 


single branches may be called briefly interhyperbolas (Zwischen- 
hyperbeln) with center O. Such a branch of a hyperbola, considered 
as the world-line of a substance-point, would represent a motion 
which, for f = -00 and f = + oo aproaches asymptotically the velocity 
of light, c. 

If now in analogy to the concept of a vector in space, we call 
a directed tract (gerichtete Strecke) in the manifold x, y, 2, t, 
a vector, then we must differentiate between time vectors (zeit- 
artigen Vektoren) with a direction from O to the sheet +F=1, t > 0, 
and the space-vectors (raumartigen Vektoren) with a direction from 
O to -F= 1. The time-axis can be parallel to any vector of the first 
kind. Every world-point between the past cone and future cone 
of O can be arranged by the system of reference to be simultaneous 
with O, but equally well as previous to O or later than O. Every 
world-point on this side of O is necessarily always previous to O, 
every world-point on the other side of O necessarily always later 
than O. Passing the limit for c = oo would correspond to the com- 
plete closing up of the wedge-shaped section between the cones into 
the plane manifold t = 0. In our figures this section has purposely 
been made of different widths. 

Let us resolve any vector whatever as from O to x, y, z, t, into 
the four components, x, y, z, t. If the directions of two vectors are 
respectively those of a radius vector OR from O to one of the 
surfaces q= F = 1 and of a tangent RS at the point R of the surface 
concerned, then the vectors shall be called normal to each other. 

c z tt 1 -^ 1 -yy l -sz 1 = 

is the condition that the vectors with the components x, y, z, t, and 
x \> y\> z \> *i are normal to each other. 

The unit measures for the scalars of vectors of different direc- 
tions are to be so determined that the scalar 1 shall always be given 
to a space- vector from O to -F= 1, and \/c to a time-vector from 

Oto F = l, f >0. 

If we now consider the world-line of a substance point passing 
through a world-point P (x, y, z, t), the scalar 

dr = ( 1 /c ) V C 2 dt 2 -dx 2 -dy 2 -ds 2 

accordingly then corresponds to the differential time-vector dx, dy, 
dz, dt in passing along the line. 

The integral JC?T = T of this quantity on the world-line meas- 


ured from any fixed initial point P to a variable terminal point P, 
we call the characteristic time (Eigenzeit) of the substance-point 
at P. On the world-line we consider x, y, z, t (the components of 
the vector OP) as functions of the characteristic time r and desig- 
nate their first derivatives with respect to t by x, y, z, i, the second 
derivatives with respect to t by x, y, z, i, and call the vectors formed 
from these, the derivative of the vector OP with respect to T the 
velocity vector at P and the derivative of this velocity-vector with 
respect to r the acceleration-vector at P. Then the relations hold: 

C 2 i 2 -x 2 -y 2 -z 2 = c 2 
c 2 ti-xx-yy-zz-Q, 

that is, the velocity-vector is the time-vector in the direction of 
world-line at P of unit length and the acceleration-vector at P is 
normal to the velocity-vector of P, therefore certainly a space- 

Now there exists, as is easily seen, a definite hyperbola branch 
which has three consecutive points in common with the world-line 
(Weltlinie) at P and whose asymptotes are generators of a past 
and future cone (see Figure 3 below). Let this hyperbola branch 
be called the hyperbola of curvature (Krummungshperbel) at P. 
If M is the center of this hyperbola we are here concerned with an 
interhyperbola with its center at M. Let p be the length of the 
vector MP, then we find the acceleration-vector at P to be the vector 
in the direction MP of length c 2 /p. 

If x, y, z, t, are all zero, then the hyperbola of curvature re- 
duces to the straight line touching the world-line at P, and p is to 
be put equal to oo. 


To show that the assumption of the group G c as holding in the 
laws of physics does not lead to a contradiction, it is indispensable 
to undertake a revision of the whole of physics on the basis of this 
assumption. This revision has already been successfully carried 
out within a certain region for questions of thermo-dynamics and 
radiation of heat, 4 for electromagnetic processes and finally for 
mechanics with retention of the concept of mass. 5 

4 M. Planck, "Zur Dynamik bewegter Systeme," Sitzungsberichte der k. 
preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1907, p. 542; also An- 
nalen der Physik, Vol. XXVI, 1908, p. 1. 

8 H. Minkowski, "Die Grundgleichungen fur die elektromagnetischen Vor- 
gange in bewegten Korpern," Nachrichten der k, Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften 


In the last-named field the first question that arises is : If a force 
with components X, Y, Z, along the space-axes is applied at a world- 
point P (x, y, z, t) where the velocity- vector is x, y, 'z, t, as what 
force is this to be conceived under any possible change of the 
system of reference? Now there exist tested lemmas about pondero- 
motive force in the electromagnetic field in the cases where the 
group G c is certainly to be allowed. These lemmas lead to the simple 
rule: On changing the system of reference the said force is to be 
applied in the new space coordinates, so that the vector pertaining 
thereto with the components. 

*X *Y, JZ, tT 

where T = l/c 2 (x/tX + y/iY + s/tZ) 

is the work that the force divided by c 2 performs at the world- 
point, all remain unchanged. This vector is always normal to the 
velocity-vector at P. Such a vector belonging to a force at P shall 
be called a moving force-vector at P. 

Now let the world-line running through P be described by a 
substance-point with a constant mechanical mass m. Let m times 
the velocity-vector at P be called the impulse-vector at P, and the 
m times the acceleration-vector at P be called the force-vector of 
the motion at P. According to these definitions the law describing 
the motion of a mass point with a given moving force-vector reads : 6 
The force-vector of the motion is equal to the moving force-vector. 

This statement summarizes four equations for the components 
along the four axes, of which the fourth (because both of the de- 
scribed vectors were a priori normal to the velocity-vector) can be 
regarded as a consequence of the first three. According to the 
above meaning of T the fourth equation undoubtedly expresses the 
law of energy. The kinetic energy of point-mass is therefore to 
be defined as c 2 times the component of the impulse-vector along the 
t-axis. The expression for this is 

mc 2 (dt/dr) = wc 2 /Vl- (v 2 /c 2 , 

which, after subtracting the additive constant me 2 and neglecting 
quantities of the order l/c 2 is the expression of kinetic energy in 

zu Gottingen (mathematisch-physikalische Klasse) 1908, p. 53, and Mathe- 
matische Annalen, Vol. LXVIII, 1910, p. 527; H. Minkowski, Gesammelte 
Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 352. 

6 H. Minkowski, Gesammelte Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 400. Compare also 
M. Planck, V ' erhandlungen der Physikalischen Geselhchaft, Vol. IV, 1906, 
p. 136. 


Newtonian mechanics %mv 2 . In this the dependence of energy on 
the system of reference appears obvious. But since the f-axis 
can now be taken in the direction of any time-vector, the law of 
energy, on the other hand, formulated for every possible system of 
reference, contains the entire system of equations of motion. This 
fact retains its significance in the above-mentioned limiting case 
for c = OQ, also for the deductive development of the Newtonian 
mechanics, and in this sense it has already been noted by J. R. 
Schiitz. 7 

We can from the start so determine the relation of unit length 
to unit time, that the natural limit of velocity becomes c = l. If we 
then introduce ^-l.t s in place of t the quadratic differential ex- 
pression becomes 

dr 2 = -dx 2 -dy 2 -dz 2 -ds z 

thus completely symmetrical in x, y, z, s, and this symmetry now 
enters into every law which does not contradict the world-postulate. 
Accordingly we can express the essence of this postulate very sig- 
nificantly in the mystical formula: 

300,000 kilometers V~l second. 


Perhaps the advantages secured by the world-postulate are 
nowhere show more impressively than in stating the effect according 
to the Maxwell-Lorentz theory of a point-charge moving at will. 
Let us consider the world-line of such a paint-electron with the 
charge e and introduce the characteristic time r from any initial 
point. To obtain the field determined by the electron at any world- 
point P! we construct the past cone Pj (Fig. 4). This meets the 
infinite world-line of the electron at a single point P because its 
directions are everywhere those of a time vector. We construct the 
tangent at P to the world-line and through P x the normal P t Q to 
this tangent. Let the scalar of P^Q be r. Then, according to 
the definition of a past cone we must take the scalar value of PQ 
as r/c. 

Now the vector in the direction PQ of length e/r represents in 
its components along the x-, y-, z-axes the vector potential multi- 
plied by c, and in the component along the t-axis the scalar potential 

7 J. R. Schiitz, "Das Prinzip der absoluten Erhaltung der Energie" in 
Nachrichten der k. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften su Gottingen (mathe- 
matisch-physikalische Klasse), 1897, p. 110. 



of the field produced by e for the world-point P x . This is the basis 
of the fundamental laws established by A. Lienard and E. Wiechert. 8 
In the description of the field itself produced by the electron 
it is clearly seen that the separation of the field into electric and 
magnetic forces is a relative one depending on the time axis of 
reference. Both forces can be described together most luminously 
after the analogy, however imperfect, of a force screw in mechanics. 

Fig. 3. 

Fig. 4. 

I shall now describe the ponderomotive effect of one point- 
charge moving at will on another point-charge moving at will. Let 
us take the world-line of the second point-electron of charge e lt 
passing through the world-point P . Let us determine P, Q, r as 
before, then (Fig. 4) construct the center M of the hyperbola of 

8 A. Lienard, "Champ electrique et magnetique produit par une charge 
concentree en un point et animee d'un mouvement quelconque," in L'eclalrage 
electrique, Vol. XVI, 1898, pp. 5, 53, 106; E. Wiechert, "Elektrodynamische 
Elementargesetze" in Archives neerlandaises des sciences exactes et naturelles 
(2), Vol. V, 1900, p. 549. 


curvature at P, and finally the normal MN from M to a straight 
line through P parallel to QP a . Let us next determine with P as 
origin a system of reference with the f-axis in the direction of PQ, 
the jf-axis in the direction of QP 15 the y-axis in the direction of MN, 
so that finally the direction of the 2-axis is determined as normal 
to the t-, x-, y-axes. Let the acceleration vector at P be x, y, z, t f 
and the velocity-vector at P be x^ y lf z lf f . Now the action of 
the moving force-vector of the first electron e moving at will on the 
second electron e^ moving at will at P x is formulated thus: 

in which the three relations between the components K*,Kj,l{s,l{/, 
of the vector K are: c^t ft* = 1/r 2 , ft y = y/c*r, *&z = Q 
and lastly, this vector K is normal to the velocity-vector at P a 
and through this circumstance alone is dependent on the latter 

If we compare this statement with the previous formulation 9 
of the same fundamental law of the ponderomotive effect of moving 
point-charges on each other, we cannot but grant that the relations 
here coming under observation do not manifest their intrinsic char- 
acter of utter simplicity except in four dimensions, but throw a very 
complicated projection upon a tri-dimensional space preimposed 
upon them. 

In mechanics reformed according to the world-postulate the 
disagreements which have caused friction between the Newtonian 
mechanics and modern electrodynamics disappear of their own ac- 
cord. I shall touch upon the relation of the Newtonian law of 
attraction to this postulate. I shall assume that when two point 
masses m and m^ describe their world-lines a moving force-vector 
acts from m on m l just as in the above expression in the case of 
electrons, except that now mm^ is to be substituted for -ee. 

We shall now consider especially the particular case where the 
acceleration-vector of m is constantly zero, in which case we can so 
introduce t that m is conceived of as at rest, and the motion of m^ 
depends only on the moving force-vector proceeding from m. If we 
modify this vector first by the factor 

9 K.Schwarzschild, Nachrichten dcr k. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu 
Gottingen (mathematisch-physikalische Klasse), 1903. p. 132. H. A. Lorentz, 
Enzyklopadie der mathematischcn Wissenschaften, Vol. V, Art. 14, p. 199. 


which, up to quantities of the order l/c 2 is equal to 1, then it fol- 
lows 10 that for positions x^ t y lf z^ of m x and their corresponding 
time-positions, Kepler's laws would again obtain, except that in place 
of the times f x the characteristic time TJ of m would be substituted. 

On the basis of this simple observation we can see that the 
proposed law of attraction in conjunction with the new mechanics 
would be no less suitable for explaining astronomical observations 
than Newton's law of attraction in conjunction with the New- 
tonian mechanics. 

The fundamental equations for electromagnetic processes in 
ponderable bodies are likewise in complete harmony with the world- 
postulate. Even the derivation of these equations, as taught by 
Lorentz, on the basis of conceptions of the electron theory need not 
for this end by any means be abandoned, as I shall show elsewhere. 11 

The universal validity of the world-postulate is, I should believe, 
the true core of an electromagnetic world-picture; first discovered 
by Lorentz, then further developed by Einstein, it is now clearly 
discernible. In the future development of its mathematical conse- 
quences enough indications will be found for experimental veri- 
fication of the postulate to reconcile by the idea of a pre-established 
harmony between pure mathematics and physics even those to whom 
a surrender of old accustomed view-points is uncongenial or painful. 



The world of logic is in a state of disturbance. A new logic is 
wanted and anxiously sought after. The logisticians are active and 
non-Aristotelian thinkers are presenting solutions. Among those 
dissatisfied with both the traditional and modern logic there is one 
man of particular originality and distinction. It is Dr. Charles 
Mercier of Charing Cross Hospital, London, and we take pleasure 
in presenting a review of his work. 

Dr. Charles A. Mercier is a physician whose specialty is mental 

10 H. Minkowski, Ges. Abhandlungen, II, p. 403. 

11 This idea is developed in the paper : "Eine Ableitung der Grund- 
gleichungen fur die elektromagnetischen Vorgange in bewegten Korpern vom 
Standpunkte der Elektronentheorie. Aus dem Nachlass von Hermann Min- 
kowski bearbeitet von Max Born in Gottingen. Mathematische Annalen, Vol. 
LXVIII, 1910, p. 526; Ges. Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 405. 


pathology. Believing that in mental as in bodily disorder the study 
of order is indispensable to the study of disorder, and that in mental 
disease the power of logical reasoning is often impaired, he thinks 
the knowledge of an adequate and correct logic very important and 
necessary. For this purpose he has found the traditional logic de- 
fective in every particular. Nor does he agree with Mill and the 
modern logicians who follow him, although they too found fault 
with the traditional school. He has frankly confessed that he does 
not understand their logic, and the symbolic logic of the logicians 
is even less satisfactory to him for this he considers no logic at all 
but "mathematics gone mad." Therefore he has written A New 
Logic of his own in a volume of 422 pages 1 which, though not 
complete and of course not wholly new, yet is different enough from 
all previous expositions to warrant the name. He regards his system 
as an organized and coherent body of doctrine, covering the whole 
field of reasoning, growing naturally from a single root and form- 
ing a harmonious and interdependent whole. And he hopes it will 
prove of great practical value in clarifying the ideas of the thoughtful 
and intelligent public with regard to the laws of reasoning. It is 
impossible to give any comprehensive summary of his method here, 
for he takes up the defects of the time-honored system one by one, 
and then in each case works out his own corresponding theory. 
But we can include here his sweeping indictment of traditional logic, 
which will give some idea of the scope of his contemplated reform. 
He says: "In my opinion, its concepts of the composition of the 
proposition, and of the constituent parts of the proposition, are 
erroneous; its doctrines of quantity and quality are wrong; its 
immediate inferences are but a poor few out of multitudes that 
may be obtained by an adequate logic; the few immediate in- 
ferences it does obtain are faulty; its doctrine of the syllogism 
is artificial and mistaken ; the rules of the syllogism are all wrong ; 
there are multitudes of mediate inferences that cannot be reached 
by the syllogism; in short, its whole system is insufficient, de- 
fective, and erroneous from beginning to end." 

Dr. Mercier takes issue with Mill and subsequent writers when 
they devote a chapter of their logic to the subject of causation and 
insist that causation lies at the root of induction, for he believes 
that causation no more belongs to the subject matter of logic than 
rotation or imitation ; that it is neither a principle nor method, but 

1 London: Longmans Green and Co.; Chicago: Open Court Publishing 
Company, 1912. 


rather an example or application of reasoning. It is for this reason 
that his own treatment of causation is not included in A New 
Logic but is given in a volume by itself. 2 Dr. Mercier writes a direct 
and trenchant style. He is not only a critic of logic but proves to 
be a keenly logical critic, and his fearlessness of spirit and acuteness 
of mind are shown most delightfully in the first chapter of Causa- 
tion which is devoted to the theories of Hume, Mill, Mr. Welton, 
Professor Pearson, Mr. Bertrand Russell and Dr. McTaggart. We 
will quote some of his more scathing and fun-provoking passages 
on the three last named, though for the full line of the author's 
critical arguments we must refer our readers to the book itself. On 
pages 18 to 31 he says: 

"Much of the authority that Prof. Pearson's Grammar of 
Science has unquestionably achieved is due to his habit of attribut- 
ing his own opinions to a personified science, a trick that enables 
him to pose as infallible, while adroitly avoiding the appearance of 
arrogance that such a pose carries with it. When he says that for 
science cause is meaningless, he means that Professor Pearson does 
not understand the meaning of it; when he says that science can 
in no case demonstrate this or that, he means that Professor Pear- 
son cannot demonstrate it; when he says that science can find no 
element of enforcement in causation, he means that Professor Pear- 
son is too blind to see the element of enforcement ; and so on. This 
is an adroit method of imposing on the gullibility of his readers, 
for who, in these 'scientific' days, would have the temerity to ques- 
tion the pronouncements of science? But I must confess to some 
surprise that it has been so successful. I should have thought that 
it might have occurred to some one that science in this sense is 
only a name for a body of opinion ; a body of fluctuating opinion, 
varying from time to time and from person to person, so that what 
is science to-day was heresy yesterday, and will be superstition 
to-morrow ; what is science to one is stupidity to another, and false- 
hood to a third. What is science to Professor Pearson, for in- 
stance, is nonsense to me. 

"Professor Pearson belongs to the school of Hume and Mill, 
and with them denies that there is any 'enforcement' of an effect 
by its cause, or any necessary connection between them. The cause 
is merely the antecedent, the effect merely the subsequent. The one 
happens to follow the other, but there is no reason or necessity why 

2 On Causation with a Chapter on Belief. London and New York : Long- 
mans, Green and Co., 1916. 


it should be so: they are in no way connected; but when we see 
repeated instances of the same succession of events, we deludedly 
jump to the conclusion that the predecessor is the cause of the 
successor. Almost as soon as it was stated, Reid blew this doctrine 
sky high by adducing the instance of night and day. Day always 
precedes night, and night always follows day, but no one supposes 
that day is the cause of night or that night is the effect of day. 
And why not? Manifestly because they are merely antecedent and 
subsequent; because there is no power in day to produce night; 
because there is no enforcement of night by day. . . .By cause we 
do not mean mere antecedence, nor by effect do we mean mere suc- 
cession. If we did, we should accept day as the cause of night, and 
night as the effect of day. If we did, the old and notorious fallacy, 
post hoc, ergo propter hoc, would be no fallacy: it would be an 
unassailable truth ; yet the same logicians who declare in their chap- 
ters on occasion and induction that causation is nothing but se- 
quence, declare in their chapter on fallacies that it is fallacious to 
argue from post hoc to propter hoc. But no inconsistency or self- 
contradiction in a doctrine ever yet deterred logicians from teaching 
it; and no doubt they will continue to teach this self-contradiction 
along with the rest, until the whole silly pseudo-science is swept 
away, and goes to join judicial astrology, phrenology, and humoral 
pathology upon the rubbish heap. 

"Professor Pearson goes with the crowd, and quotes as from 
Mill the definition that causation is uniform antecedence; and this 
definition, says Professor Pearson, is perfectly in accord with scien- 
tific concept that is, with Professor Pearson's concept. It may be 
a good definition, but when Professor Pearson says it is John Stuart 
Mill's definition, he is mistaken. Among all of Mill's many defini- 
tions of cause and causation this one is not to be found. In this 
instance 'science' is at fault. . . . 

"The most popular doctrine of Professor Pearson's is his dis- 
tinction between how and why, a distinction which is either the 
cause, or the chief effect, of his theory of causation. He denies 
that we can ever discover zvhy a thing happens, or explain it; and 
limits our powers to saying how it happens, or describing it. In 
this he is demonstrably wrong. It is often as impossible to describe 
how things happen as to explain why they happen: it is often as 
easy to explain why they happen as to describe how they happen. 
The fact is that both how and why are equivocal words, having 


more than one meaning; but whichever meaning we take, what I 
have said is true. . . . 

"A good example of the manner in which Professor Pearson 
poses as a superior being is the advice he gives to his readers, to 
analyze what is meant by such statements as that the law of gravi- 
tation causes bodies to fall to the earth. The law, he says, really 
describes how bodies do fall. Of course it does; but before Pro- 
fessor Pearson gave this advice to his readers, he should have shown 
some evidence that some one besides himself had ever said such a 
silly thing. As far as I know, no one has ever pretended that the law 
of gravitation causes bodies to fall to the earth; but if any one 
should say the fact of gravitation the fact that they attract each 
other causes bodies to fall to the earth, he would say what is 
exactly and punctually true. The law of gravitation describes how 
bodies fall : the fact of gravitation explains why they fall ; and the 
explanation is as good and as valid as the description. As far as I 
know, Professor Pearson never answers the actual arguments of 
real antagonists ; and if he prefers the easier task of answering silly 
arguments that he puts into the mouth of an imaginary antagonist, 
then, whatever we may think of his courage and sincerity, we can- 
not question his wisdom. 

"Mr. Bertrand Russell follows Professor Pearson in denying 
the existence of causes. He say there are no such things. He 
wants the word abolished, and regards the law of causation, or, as 
he calls it, of causality, as a relic of a bygone age. To prove this 
contention he selects from Baldwin's dictionary the definitions given 
therein of Causality, of the notion of Cause and Effect, and so forth ; 
he takes one of Mill's definitions of Causation, and an expression 
of Bergson's, and analyzes them all destructively. 

"All these expressions assume, and Mr. Russell repeatedly in 
his own expressions assumes, that repetition of instances is necessary 
before we can identify causation, and I think it is not too much to say 
that he regards recurrence or repetition as a necessary element, either 
in causation itself, or in our idea of causation.... He confutes the suc- 
cession in time of cause and effect, or that antecedence and conse- 
quence on which Mill and his school lay so much stress : 'No two in- 
stants are contiguous, since the time series is compact/ I cannot see 
that the conclusion follows from the premise. It seems to me that the 
more compact the time series, the more closely contiguous must be 
its instants. If Mr. Russell means that time is continuous, and not 


made up of instants separated from one another by intervals that 
are not time, or in which there is no time, I should agree with him ; 
but it is only in such an interrupted time series that the instants 
would not be contiguous. An instant, like an hour or a day, is a 
portion of time arbitrarily divided by an imaginary limit from that 
which precedes and that which follows, with both of which it is 
continuous or contiguous. But if Mr. Russell is right, and no two 
instants are contiguous, and if serial contiguity in time between 
cause and effect is necessary to causation, then this settles the ques- 
tion: then causation is impossible, and Mr. Russell's further argu- 
ment is redundant, supererogatory, and unnecessary. But he does 

not think so 

"He goes on to show that if cause and effect are not con- 
tiguous in time, then there must be an interval between them; and 
'since there are no infinitesimal time intervals' this lapse of time 
must be finite. But if there is a finite interval of time between cause 
and effect, something may happen in that interval to prevent the 
effect following the cause. It is all very pretty word spinning, and 
for all I know it may apply to the kind of 'causality' that occurs in 
the moon, or in a universe of one dimension, but it has no relation 
whatever to causation as it is known on this earth. Mr. Russell 
assumes that effect follows cause in the sense of what carpenters 
call a butt joint, in the sense that the effect does not begin until 
the cause has ceased to act. That may be what happens in some 
other universe, but it is not what happens here. What happens 
here is quite different, as Mr. Russell might have known if he had 
considered an actual case of causation instead of speculating with 
e , e 2J . . . e n , and t lf 1 2 , . . . t n , and r. When, for instance, a man 
pushes a trolley, he causes it to move. The pushing is the cause, 
the movement is the effect. But the effect is not postponed until 
the cause has ceased to act. The effect does not come into existence 
at an instant contiguous to the cessation of the cause. The effect 
begins as soon, or almost as soon, as the cause begins; thereafter, 
cause and effect, the pushing and the movement, accompany one 
another, and proceed contemporaneously for a certain time; and at 
length, when the cause ceases, the effect ceases. Cause is con- 
tiguous to effect in this case, not end to end, but side by side for the 
greater portion of their duration. The joint is not a butt joint 
but a fish joint ; and all Mr. Bertrand Russell's pretty word spinning 
goes for nothing. 


"His own statement of 'causality' cannot, he says, be put accu- 
rately in non-mathematical language ; the nearest approach would be 
as follows : 'There is a constant relation between the state of the uni- 
verse at any instant, and the rate of change at which any part of the 
universe is changing at that instant, such that the rate of change in the 
rate of change is determinate when the state of the universe is given.' 
It is with diffidence that I comment on this mysterious formula, but 
it seems to me clear that if anything can be discovered by its means, 
it is not the cause of a change, but the rate at which a change takes 
place, or rather the rate of change in a rate of change ; which may 
be a desirable thing to know, but by no perversity of ingenuity can 
be twisted or tortured into a cause. But suppose the impossible to 
be true, and suppose that no cause of any thing can be discovered 
or assigned unless and until the state of the whole universe is 
known; then it is clear that no cause of anything ever has been 
discovered or ever can be discovered, for we can never know the 
state of the whole universe. But in fact many causes of many things 
are known, and more are being discovered every day. I know, for 
instance, that pushing a trolley is a cause of the movement of that 
trolley. I know that reading such disquisitions as Mr. Welton's, 
Professor Pearson's, and Mr. Bertrand Russell's, are among the 
causes of the estimate I have formed of philosophers. Mr. Ber- 
trand Russell may be a great mathematician, Professor Pearson a 
great statistician, and Mr. Welton a great authority on education; 
but there is a certain proverb about the cobbler and his last that I 
would commend to the notice of all three. It may be that I must 
determine the state of this earth, and of everything upon it, in it, 
and around it ; of all its continents, seas, rivers, lakes, and islands ; 
of all its minerals, from the coal to the diamond; of all its vege- 
tables, from the bacillus to the oak and the orchid ; of all its animals, 
from the spirochaete to the whale ; of all its human inhabitants, from 
the Bushman to Mr. Russell himself; and beyond this, of all the 
solar system, with its planets, planetary streams, satellites, and comets ; 
of all the stars which we call fixed, with their temperatures, posi- 
tions, sizes, movements, and chemical composition it may be that 
I must know all these things with accuracy before I can discover 
what it is that is tickling my nose; but for my own part I don't 
believe it. In fact, I do not know all these things, I know only 
some of them, and I have already discovered the cause. No doubt 


Mr. Bertrand Russell knows best, but my own private belief is that 
though mathematics cannot err, mathematicians can 

"For thorough mystification, and for the most extreme depar- 
ture from plain meaning and common sense, Dr. McTaggart runs 
Mr. Bertrand Russell very hard. According to Dr. McTaggart, 
'causation is a relation of implication between existent realities 
or to put it more precisely, between existent substances.' This does 
not on the face of it afford us much help in understanding what 
causation is, but unlike most philosophers, Dr. McTaggart defines 
his terms, and for this one cannot be sufficiently grateful to him, 
not only on general grounds, but also for the surprising meanings 
that he shows lurk unsuspected in the most ordinary terms. A 
substance, for instance, according to Dr. McTaggart, is anything 
that can have qualities and relations ; so that, for instance, the battle 
of Waterloo and a flash of lightning are substances in the McTag- 
gartian sense. This is a bit startling, but definitions are so rare in 
philosophy that we must be thankful for any we can get, even if 
they leave us more mystified than before. The battle of Waterloo 
is presumably not only a substance but also an existing substance 
in the McTaggartian world, though to the rest of us it ceased to 
exist a hundred years ago. Causation, then, is a relation of impli- 
cation between such existing substances as the battle of Waterloo 
and a flash of lightning; but what is a relation of implication? 
Here again Dr. McTaggart comes to the rescue with a definition. 
A relation of implication is a relation between two propositions, P 
and Q, such that P implies Q, when, if I know P to be true, I am 
justified by that alone in asserting that Q is true, and if I know Q 
to be false, I am justified by that alone in asserting P to be false. 

"So far, so good, but still we are a long way from attaining a 
clear idea of causation ; but Dr. McTaggart is not done yet. 'Strictly 
speaking/ he says, 'implication is a relation between propositions 
or truths [is a proposition, then, necessarily true?] and not between 
events . But it is convenient to extend our use of it, so as to say 
that if one proposition implies another, then the event asserted in 
the first implies the event asserted in the second [but how if neither 
of them asserts an event?]. It is in this sense that the cause implies 
the effect' causes it, in fact. The jump from propositions to 
events is a bit startling to those who are not accustomed to the 
proper meaning of realities and substances, but interpreting these 
expressions to the best of my ability, I gather that when we say 


the cause implies the effect, we mean that if the cause is true the 
effect is true, and if the effect is false the cause is false. But what 
on earth is the meaning of a cause or an effect being true or false? 
It does not appear that by a true cause Dr. McTaggart means the 
causa vera of the Schools, but what he does mean I cannot con- 
jecture; and supposing this difficulty to be cleared up, what is the 
meaning of a false effect ? Is it an effect that never happens ? or is 
it an effect that is wrongly attributed to a certain cause? or is it 
something else? It is to be regretted that Dr. McTaggart has not 
supplemented his definitions with others, explaining the meaning 
of these terms. In this difficulty the only practicable expedient is 
to clothe the expression in circumstances to apply the general rule 
to an individual case. 

"I take, therefore, two propositions, 'Brutus killed Caesar,' and 
'Brutus and Caesar were contemporaries,' which stand in relation 
of implication ; for if P, or Brutus killed Caesar, is true, then we 
are justified by that alone in asserting the truth of Q, that they 
were contemporaries ; and if Q, or Brutus and Caesar were contem- 
poraries, is false, then we are justified by that alone in asserting 
the falsity of P, that Brutus killed Caesar. This specimen fulfils 
all Dr. McTaggart's conditions. The relation is undoubtedly a 
relation of implication ; and the killing of Caesar by Brutus is a sub- 
stance, for it can have qualities, such as treachery, unexpectedness, 
rapidity, and so forth. It does not seem to me to be an existing 
substance, it is true, but it is as much an existing substance as the 
battle of Waterloo. The contemporaneousness of Brutus and Caesar 
is a relation, and therefore this also is a substance, and to the same 
extent the other is an existing substance. All the conditions being 
satisfied, we may therefore predicate a relation of causation between 
these two existing substances; but now our difficulties begin, for I 
cannot understand whether the fact that Brutus killed Caesar caused 
them to live at the same time, or whether the fact that they were 
contemporaries caused Brutus to kill Caesar, If the latter, why did 
not all his other contemporaries kill Caesar? and why did not Caesar 
kill Brutus? If the former, what caused Brutus and Caesar to have 
so many other contemporaries? I have puzzled over these prob- 
lems till my brain is almost turned, and I am no nearer a solution, 
and am obliged to give them up. I doubt whether any one but Dr. 
McTaggart could solve them; and a method which is useless in 



the hands of every one but its inventor is never likely to become 

"Dr. McTaggart arrives at certain other conclusions that are 
interesting. He decides that there is no reason to believe 'that a 
cause exerts an activity or an effect.' What is meant by a cause 
exerting an effect I do not know, and another definition would be use- 
ful here ; but if Dr. McTaggart means that a cause does not produce 
an effect, then I respectfully submit that it is not a cause. More- 
over, if a cause does riot exert an activity, it is only because it is 
an activity, or more properly an action. Cause and activity can 
no more be divorced than heat and motion, or solidity and resistance. 
Dr. McTaggart decides that cause and effect are not identical, a 
discovery that will not, I think, astonish any one but Mr. Welton; 
that the effect is not necessarily subsequent to the cause, and, indeed, 
he is not quite sure that the effect may not sometimes come first, and 
the cause follow after it ; and at last he declares, in despair it seems 
to me, that though cause and effect are not identical, yet there is 
no means of knowing which is which, or at any rate, there is no 
clear distinction between them ; and therefore, though we may speak 
of causal relations as existing between two terms, yet we ought not 
to speak of one of those terms as cause, and of the other as effect. 
I think we may legitimately complain that Dr. Taggart does not tell 
us what we ought to call them. Ought we to call them both X, 
or the one X and the other Y ? Ought we to call the one beef, and 
the other Yorkshire pudding? Or ought we to call the one petticoat 
and the other trousers? Dr. McTaggart gives us no guidance, and 
the reader must choose for himself. 

"The lecture in which Dr. McTaggart expounded these views 
was delivered at Newnham College, presumably to an audience of 
young women, and I trust he developed to them his views of the 
impropriety of naming the related terms when describing relations. 
He convinced them, I trust, that it is convenient to speak of the 
relation of marriage, but inconvenient (and perhaps improper), to 
speak of bride and bridegroom, or of husband and wife; that it is 
convenient to speak of parentage, but not of parents or of children ; 
that it is convenient to speak of the relation of cousinhood, but that 
they should never allow themselves to use such expressions as Harry 
or Mary." 

The second chapter defines effect, reason, result, cause, and the 
third is devoted to condition. The fourth deals with causation itself 


and works up to the author's definition of the term (page 75) as 
"the necessary connection between an action and the sequent change 
or accompanying unchange in the thing acted on." Then follows a 
chapter on "Subsidiary Problems," the last of which is the uni- 
formity of nature. In his first chapter Dr. Mercier had quaintly 
observed that "no two philosophers agree on what is to be meant by 
the uniformity of nature; the only thing on which they agree, and 
when they do agree their unanimity is wonderful, is that nature is 
not uniform." Chapters six and seven treat various methods of 
ascertaining causes, and errors in attributing causation and finally 
one chapter is given to the practical subject of causes of death 
and insanity. It is an attempt to guide the physician in determining 
the primary and secondary causes of death as required in England 
by the Registrar General, and to avoid the confusion of a certain 
complex "table of causes" of insanity issued by the British Board of 

The chapter on belief was added as an afterthought at the re- 
quest of a friend who was puzzled as to what to believe and dis- 
believe. In this the author makes no claim to philosophical pro- 
fundity, but endeavors to furnish a basis by which the ordinary 
thoughtful man may avoid believing things that are irrational, base- 
less, absurd or self -contradictory. We quote the author's summary 
of this chapter (pages 227-228) : 

"The different meanings of 'believe' are defined, and the mean- 
ings of various cognate expressions explained. An assertion of any 
degree of belief or disbelief expresses an attitude of mind either 
directly toward a fact, or, while directly toward a statement, in- 
directly toward the fact stated. 

"A fact means anything existing or happening, in the past, 
present, or future. 

"Belief ought to conform to fact, but cannot be directly related 
to fact, for we have no direct knowledge of fact. Between belief 
and fact there is always the intermediary of evidence. It is evi- 
dence and not fact that impresses our minds, and when we have 
brought our belief, or the want of it, into accordance with the 
evidence, we have done all we can, and can do no more. 

"Evidence is of three kinds : Evidence of sense, evidence of 
reason, evidence of hearsay. 

"Evidence of sense is certain as to the sensation only ; but sen- 
sation is of little value until it is interpreted, that is, until its source 



or cause is arrived at by the elementary process of reasoning called 
perception. This process may be faulty, and the percept false, or 

"Evidence of reason gives us two criteria of certainty. That 
which cannot be conceived is certainly false, and its contradictory 
is certainly true, and constitutes an axiomatic truth or certainty. 
It is necessary, in using this test, to be careful not to confuse, as 
Mill and Spencer did, inconceivability with incredibility. 

"Empirical certainty rests upon constancy in experience. That 
relation which has been found constant (i. e., never contradicted) 
in experiences diverse and incalculably numerous, is true for us, and 
cannot be believed to be false, although its contradictory may be 

"If the relation is not constant in experience, then the degree 
of belief ought to correspond with the proportion that the positive 
instances in experience of the relation bear to the negative instances, 
in which the terms of the relation occur apart. The more nearly 
constant in experience the relation, the more carefully should ap- 
parent exceptions be scrutinized. 

"Evidence of hearsay may be maximally trustworthy or may be 
worthless. The following are the criteria to be depended on: 

"1. The statement must be understood in the same sense by the 
receiver as by the assertor. 

"2. The witness must be a witness of truth so far as he knows 
the truth. 

"3. The witness must have means of knowing the truth. 

"4. The hearsay evidence must not be inconsistent, or even in- 
congruous with experience. 

"Whoso makes an assertion, on him lies the burden of proof. 
No attention should be paid to bare assertion unsupported by evi- 

"Evidence is anything germane to the issue, and consistent 
with the assertion. 

"Proof is evidence inconsistent with any alternative to the 

"Disproof is evidence inconsistent with the assertion. 

"The evidence of a single witness may be received in propor- 
tion to his previous record for truthfulness, and in proportion 
to his responsibility, that is to say to the ill-consequences that 


would accrue to him if he were found to have given false testimony ; 
also to his freedom from interest and bias in making his assertion. 

"The evidence of a plurality of witnesses is valuable in pro- 
portion to their independence of one another. Evidence of many 
independent witnesses goes to prove an assertion if they have means 
of knowing the truth, and if the assertion is consistent with ex- 
perience. Otherwise, the evidence of witnesses, however many and 
however unanimous, has no value." 

Though we hesitate to draw inferences with regard to an author 
who has such a ready eye for fallacies, it seems to us that the 
logical consequent of this chapter ought to be an essay on New 
Testament criticism or at least on that phase which deals with the 
doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus. 




On February first despatches from London announced to Amer- 
ican newspapers the death of one of those great Oriental scholars 
whose researches in difficult fields have been the glory of the nine- 
teenth century. Lawrence Heyworth Mills, professor of Zend philol- 
ogy at Oxford since 1898, died at the ripe age of eighty-one years. 
In him science and literature lose another great figure, one of those 
who faithfully and courageously pursued the missionary labor of 
revealing the religious lore of the great, dead civilizations of the 
East to a West, which in its self sufficiency always reacted but slowly 
and unwillingly to messages deemed by its utilitarian spirit to be 
of little, or at least, of questionable worth. 

Though Professor Mills left for a permanent residence in 
Europe in 1872, he was of American birth, and we select from Dr. 
Carus's warm tribute to an esteemed contributor to Open Court 
and Monist, as found on pages 505 to 509 of volume XIII, the fol- 
lowing salient facts. 

He was born in New York in 1837 of German and Irish an- 
cestry, long resident in colonial America. Educated for the min- 
istry and ordained, he was active in ecclesiastical duties from 1861 
to 1872 in our country and then in the Protestant Episcopal church 


of the American colony in Florence, Italy, where he resided until 
1877 while continuing the prosecution of those studies on gnosticism 
that had been begun in America. Removing to Germany in that 
year on the advice of his physician, he began the publication of his 
first and tentative edition of the Gathas with four texts, of which 
three were translated, between 1879 and 1881. Thus favorably in- 
troduced to scholars, he was in 1883 urged by the great Orientalists 
Max Miiller and James Darmesteter, and strongly encouraged to 
undertake the edition of what was probably the most difficult book 
of the Sacred Books of the East, the XXXIst, including as it did, the 
translation of the Gathas. This was his most distinguished service 
to science, and it brought him to England in 1886 in pursuance of a 
request of Max Miiller to see the work through the press. Hence- 
forth his destinies centered about the great English university, Ox- 
ford, for the library of which he was largely instrumental in pro- 
curing in 1888 what has been called one of the "most precious gifts 
ever given it," the oldest manuscript of the Yasna, a present from a 
distinguished High Priest of the Parsis, a scholar renowned for his 
five-volume dictionary of the Pahlavi tongue. The Clarendon Press 
expressed its appreciation in a de luxe edition of the manuscript, 
which is the equal of any specimen of bookmaking produced in the 
nineteenth century. Spurred on by his first success, Dr. Mills was 
indefatigable in his efforts to obtain by purchase or gift the valuable 
manuscripts, or to obtain "diplomatically exact" copies of those he 
could not acquire, all for the ambitious end of seeing the Bodleian 
in possession of the finest collection of Parsi manuscripts in Europe. 
Dr. Mills's mastery of languages was astounding, nor was he 
satisfied with a superb mastery of Iranic dialects, but to demon- 
strate the near relationship of Parsi to Sanscrit he deliberately and 
successfully translated a large portion of the Parsi sacred books into 
that difficult and ancient tongue. He was ever busy in learned 
societies and their publications with tongue and pen furthering the 
knowledge of his beloved science, and the Open Court Publishing 
Company has had the esteemed pleasure of printing a number of his 
volumes, such as the second and enlarged edition in 1900 of the 
Gathas, originally published in 1892-4, as far as completed; Zara- 
thushtra, Philo, the Achaemenids and Israel in 1906, being the two 
volumes in one of his university lectures, which were published as 
Vol. I in 1904 and Vol. II in 1905 ; a further collection of university 
lectures in 1908 under the title Avesta Eschatology, Compared with 


the Books of Daniel and Revelations ; and finally, in 1913, Our Own 
Religion in Ancient Persia. 

Another fruit of Dr. Mills's professional labors at Oxford, with 
which he was connected from 1898 on, is the Dictionary of the Lan- 
guage of the Gathas, of which the first volume appeared in 1902 
and the last in 1914, the fitting and final labor of a great and useful 


Edward V. Huntington ("On Setting up a Definite Integral 
without the Use of Duhamel's Theorem/' American Mathematical 
Monthly, Vol. XIV, 1917, pp. 271-275) makes a contribution of 
importance in the principles of the integral calculus. Consider the 
usual process of setting up an integral in the problem, say, of 
finding the total attraction P due to a thin rod of length b-a at a 
point O in line with the rod and at distance a from the nearer end. 
Suppose the linear density of the rod to be any function, / (x), 
which is known for all values of x from a to b. Also, suppose the 
attraction due to a particle to be proportional to F (x) times the 
mass of the particle. We actually proceed somewhat as follows. 
First, we think of the rod as divided into small elements, dx, where 
dx=(b-a)/n f and proceed to write down the attraction due to a 
typical element, say, from x-x to x = x + dx. Thus, the mass of 
the element is seen to be f(x)dx, at least approximately and the 
formula would be exact if the density throughout the element were 
the same as at its nearer end. Hence, the attraction at the point O 
due to the element kF(x)f(x')dx, at least approximately and the 
formula would be exact if all the attracting material in the element 
were concentrated at its nearer end. In this k is a factor of pro- 
portionality. Having thus found the attraction due to a typical 
single element, at least approximately, we get the total attraction, 
P, due to all the elements, by integrating the last expression from 
a to b, "and in spite of the approximation used in setting up the 
integral, we feel assured that this final expression for P is exact." 

Now, in many text-books, notably W. F. Osgood's Calculus 
of 1907 (revised edition 1909), the process of setting up an integral 
as the limit of a sum is held to require, for complete rigor, the use 
of "Duhamel's theorem." This theorem is as follows. If a lf a 2f . . . 
a n is a set of positive infinitestimals such that 



and if fti, j3 2 ,...ft n is a second set of positive infinitesimals such 
that each ft differs from the corresponding a by an infinitesimal of 
higher order, so that lim[0 4 /ai] = 1 ; then 

lim[ft +& + ...+#,]= A. 

In these the limits are taken for n going to infinity. This theorem 
has exceptions, and examples of this falsity of the theorem are 
given, and it is to be noticed that although Osgood recognized 
this in a paper in 1903, he retained the incorrect form of Duhamel's 
theorem, without comment, in his text-book. Osgood gave his 
reasons for so doing in his article of 1903. If Duhamel's theorem 
is to be used at all, it must be taken in a modified form ; and modi- 
fied forms have been proposed by Osgood (1903), R. L. Moore 
(1912), and G. A. Bliss (1914). However in this article Hunting- 
ton shows that the simple and uncritical process of integration 
regarded as a method of summation can be counted on to yield 
the correct result in the case, at least, when the functions f(x) and 
F(.r) are continuous. "It is not necessary to consider any questions 
of 'infinitesimal of higher order,' or any questions of 'uniformity' ; 
the simple continuity of the two functions is sufficient." This 
theorem is stated and proved at some length. 

* * * 

Louis C. Karpinski ("Algebraical Developments among the 
Egyptians and Babylonians," American Mathematical Monthly, 
Vol. XXIV, 1917, pp. 257-265) tries to show that "much of the 
material of our elementary algebra was long ago anticipated, to 
some extent, in the Orient. Similar anticipations of algebraical 
reasoning are indicated in the material, such as we have, which 
shows the progress of mathematics in ancient India and Greece ____ 
In interpreting historical evidence one is constantly in danger of 
reading modern ideas into the text ; on the other hand some writers 
in discussing Egyptian mathematics have been at great pains to 
discount the material which we have .... The Egyptians, even as 
early as 2000 B. C., attained a relatively high development in mathe- 
matics along analytical lines. This advance was made by the Egyp- 
tian priests who enjoyed that adequate leisure which is a primary 
essential for scientific advance. The assumption has frequently been 
made that the mathematics of the Egyptians was the product of 
their practical needs, this view being the result of a too serious 
regard for the statement of Herodotus that the Egyptians developed 


geometry in order to redistribute the lands after the periodic over- 
flow of the Nile. The assumption is absolutely refuted by a study 
of their mathematical achievements A just view of the mathe- 
matics involved must regard these points [practical application of 
mathematics] as applications and not at all as sources of the Egyp- 
tian mathematics. Fundamentally and universally mathematics is 
the achievement of thinking beings, occasioned by the mind and 
not by the body." Speaking of the Rhind papyrus, the author says 
that "the manual includes a number of problems in linear equations. 
The solution while essentially by the method of 'false position' is 
a definite and scientific procedure, leading to the correct value of 
the root of the equation. One of these first-degree equations is the 
following: 'Ahau (heap, mass, unknown) and its seventh, it makes 
19.' An arbitrary value, 7, is assumed as the root and the sum is 
found to be 8, instead of 19 as required; to obtain 19 from 8 the 
latter is doubled and multiplied by % and %; the trial root 7 is 
also multiplied by 2, %, %, giving 16, %, % as the value of the 
unknown; substitution of this value in the original equation fol- 
lows, as a check, in accordance with the common procedure in 
Egyptian mathematics." After mentioning that symbols for the 
unknown, addition, and subtraction, and that simultaneous equa- 
tions in two unknowns, leading to pure quadratics involving the 
Pythagorean triad 3 2 + 4 2 = 5 2 are found in this and other ancient 
papyri, the author notices "that the Egyptian system of unit frac- 
tions, which persisted in Europe three thousand years after the 
times of the Ahmes manual, frequently gives a convenient method 
for actual computation." Also "the discussion in the Egyptian 
manual of arithmetical and geometrical progressions reveals an 
unexpected familiarity with rules which we now express by alge- 
braical formulas, a familiarity which has not received adequate 
appreciation." There is mention of the weak point, which is ap- 
parently universal in Egyptian mathematics, in the discussion of 
the areas of triangles and trapezoids. "It is difficult to reconcile 
these crude approximations with the precision of measurements 
found in the construction of the pyramids and with the use of a 
method for drawing similar figures corresponding to the use of 
cross-section paper. The authorities are not in full agreement con- 
cerning the interpretation of the texts in question." In the section 
on algebraical ideas in Babylon, the author mentions the astronom- 
ical work of the Babylonians, their number symbols and decimal 


and sexagesimal systems (the sexagesimal place system of recording 
numbers appears as early as 3000 B.C.), and the interest on the 
part of the Babylonians in arithmetical and geometrical series as 
early as 700 B. C. and in square and cubic numbers. "This brief 
survey of algebraical developments among the Egyptians and Baby- 
lonians shows that much of the material which was developed and 
extended by Greek mathematicians originated, both in methods and 
substance, with the scientists of the Orient." $ 


RELIGION AND SCIENCE: a philosophical essay. By John Theodore Merz. 
Edinburgh and London, Blackwood and Sons, 1915. Pages, xi, 192. 
Price, 5s. net. 

Clearly, this book belongs to a type. To be in love with emotion has been 
our affliction since Rousseau ; to believe in belief is a form of the same malady. 
Mr. Merz knows Schleiermacher ; he may or may not have read Maeterlinck, 
or Bergson, or Jean Jacques; but he cannot have escaped Goethe. As for 
romanticism in theology, we find one fundamental assumption : there is some- 
thing called religion, independent of articulate creeds; there is the conviction 
that religion is so valuable that it must be "true"; and there is the prejudice 
that science is hostile to religion. Strong passions do not need explanation; 
but just as a man who is not very much in love excuses the follies which he 
has committed for the purpose of appearing passionate, so the philosophical 
Christian apologizes for the religion in which he would like to believe, and 
interprets the weakness of his opponents as evidence of his own strength. 
Maeterlinck exulted in the "banqueroute de la science" because it made religion 
again possible. 

In this book the learned historian of European thought expounds three 
ideas: (1) Science deals only with an "external" world, which is a develop- 
ment of the world of common sense "with a still greater restriction of funda- 
mental data" (p. 107) out of an earlier and larger reality. (2) Science de- 
scribes and explains, its terms consist of "spatial data and their connections." 
Interpretation, i. e., the assignment (or the discovery?) of value and meaning, 
is reserved for religion. (3) Personality is that which is most real. The 
highest experience which we can have is the feeling of absolute dependence 
(Schleiermacher) which we trace to the influence of a higher power. 

Mr. Merz decides, first, that the external world is a construction, that 
conceptual thought abstracts and selects. The products of this selection are 
subject and object, "an altered and fuller conception of reality/' space, time, 
causality. These entities are carved out of a "primordial stream of thought" 
which apparently antedates thinking, which is a reality wider (though it is 
said to be less "full") than the external world. This internal possession is 


the earlier and truer aspect of our personality a period (as well as an aspect) 
when we looked upon everything merely as "internal happenings." We enter- 
tained this hypothesis in our infancy, and our age sees the belief justified. 

Although this is the earlier and truer aspect of our personality, yet contact 
with other personality leads us out of it The first external object that the 
baby apprehends is its mother, not perhaps in her earlier and truer aspect, but 
as an influence, a spiritual pressure. Nothing else that we experience is so 
real as personality. The awareness of a group gives us law and morality. 
The awareness of a supreme spiritual pressure gives us religion. 

Mr. Merz holds that mind is as much an abstraction as is matter. "The 

totality of experience is of more importance, being more real, than the 

particles into which we dissect it" (p. 72). Whether personality is equivalent 
to this total experience, or is one of the particles, is not made clear. 

The phrases "stream of thought" and "firmament of consciousness" recur 
many times. The account of description, explanation, and interpretation is 
the best part of the book (pp. 110-120). 77 

OUTLINES OF JAINISM. By Jagmanderlal Jaini, M.A. Edited with preliminary 
note by F. W. Thomas. Cambridge: University Press, 1916. Pp. xl, 
156. 4s. net. 

A compact little treatise by a distinguished Jain. The author divides his 
exposition into Theology, Metaphysics, Ethics, and Ritual, and appends a 
number of Jain texts. The book is a compendium, not an interpretation into 
terms of western philosophy which is to its credit. It will appeal chiefly to 
the student of Sanskrit and Pali who has some acquaintance with Indian and 
Buddhist philosophy, and perhaps is ignorant in this less explored field ; but it 
should interest others as well. We regret that the author did not find space 
for a comparative account ; we learn nothing of borrowings, analogies, or com- 
mon sources. There is an historical narrative of the teachings of Jainism, but 
none of the development of its philosophy. Jainism is dualistic, and one would 
like to know what relation it bears to the dualism of early Sankhya. From Mr. 
Jaini's statement of the three cardinal principles (karma, relativism, and ahimsa 
or non-injury of living beings) we do not discern any fundamental difference 
from some forms of Buddhism. 

One is glad to see that honor is paid to the labors of that greatest of 
orientalists, Jacobi. The book is published under the auspices of the Jain 
Literature Society. We hope that it will spread the interest in a noble religion 
and ethics and an important philosophy. f 




ex#pos Karapyeirai 6 Oavaros. 

1 Cor. xv. 26 

WE read in Ivanhoe, if any one now ever reads Ivan- 
hoe, that in the single combat between De Bois Guil- 
bert and the Disinherited Knight, the latter, as their steeds 
rushed together, first leveled his lance at the corslet of the 
champion, but almost at the very moment of collision he 
changed his aim to the visor, a mark much more difficult 
to attain but where the shock would be irresistible. Slightly 
similar has been the procedure of your speaker. It was 
his purpose long cherished to address you under some suf- 
ficiently cryptic title on the general mission of philosophy 
as the guide of life and the guardian of the higher ideas and 
ideals that dignify humanity and vindicate the claim of man 
to be the head of creation. However, regarding the subject 
more and more nearly, he grew appalled at its magnitude 
and convinced of the impossibility of any adequate discus- 
sion within the limits of your patience. Then it was that 
the choice of the narrower mark was finally made, a mark 
most difficult to attain, but yet most certainly well worth 
attaining. Even now he fears that the barrel is too big 
for the hoop, that it will be impossible to compress any 
half-way sufficient presentation within the time allowed. 
Hence it may be that the necessary directness of statement 

* Address before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Tulane University, June, 5, 


will often take on the appearance of dogmatism. Time 
fails for establishing in detail every position assumed, some 
things will have to be taken for granted, but only such as 
it seems certain can be proved beyond reasonable doubt. 
Now as the hour contracts, and the way, though broad and 
smooth, is also exceeding long and exceeding steep, let us 
without further preliminaries go straight for the heart of 
the matter. 

The basis of all that follows is a strictly spiritual, psy- 
chical, or idealistic conception of the universe. When you 
look round you upon the stars, the sky, the sun, the moon, 
the earth, the sea, the land, the walls of the house, the 
bodies of animals and plants, the bodies of your fellows, 
yea, your own body, the impulse is almost irresistible to 
declare that these things are the world, or at least its main 
elements, that they are precisely what they are quite inde- 
pendently of you and your thought or your existence, that 
you do not make them at all or in any sense, but that your 
own every-day experience is shaped and determined by 
them in all its details. You rise in the morning because 
the sun has arisen and poured its light upon you and dis- 
pelled the dark and revealed the smiling countenance of 

"Awake ! for morning in the bowl of night 
Has flung the stone that puts the stars to flight, 
And lo ! the Hunter of the East has caught 
The Sultan's turret in a noose of light." 

But the stars and the great stone of the sun and the bowl 
of heaven and the light itself all seem to be just what they 
are, no matter what you are, objects independent of you, 
existing before you and after you, and moulding your own 
activity at every step, and all in apparent indifference to 
you as to a puny pygmy. You seem to be but the veriest 
mote in the sunbeam, dancing there for a moment and then 
shaken out and falling asunder forever, re-swallowed by 


the infinite ocean swifter and surer than even Goethe 
dreamed of when he wrote : 

"We by a billow 
Are lifted, a billow 
Engulfs us, we sink 
And are heard of no more." 

Such, apparently, is the tremendous pronouncement of 
common sense, and it receives daily more and more solemnly 
the sanction of science, particularly of the grand science of 
life, with all of her handmaids, zoology, and botany, and 
physiology, and chemistry, and mechanics, the chiefest of 
them all. 

Against this awful oracle of science and of common 
sense it is in vain that authority and tradition in any and 
all of their forms raise an empty protest and appeal to 
creeds outworn and to dogmas whose origin is only too 
well understood. What Coleridge declared a century ago 
of the fair humanities of old religion may now be declared 
with added emphasis concerning the whole body of extra- 
rational doctrines that for millenniums have swayed the 
minds and inspired the hearts of the European. All these 
have vanished, they live no longer in the faith of reason. 
The common-sense and quasi-scientific view of man and 
the universe moves on daily with firmer and surer and 
haughtier tread, reminding us of Homer's description of 
Discord : 

"Small indeed when at first her front she uplifteth, but later 
Holding her head up in heaven, the while on earth she is treading." 

There is only one name given under heaven whose 
magic may arrest the march of this conception, which now 
rushes over the earth like the shadow of a dim eclipse 
shedding disastrous twilight over the soul. And that name 
is philosophy, not any visionary and unreal speculation, 
but philosophy more scientific than science herself, philos- 
ophy that is the equator and Venus-girdle of the whole 


sphere of the sciences, philosophy that neglects no element 
of experience but submits all the data of all the sciences 
to the severest analysis of which the human mind is capable. 
It is only scientific philosophy, philosophy that is the science 
of science, or science in the second degree, that can trans- 
figure and glorify science herself and weave the harsh 
words of her oracles into rhythmic verse and set them to 
heavenly music. 

Ah ! you smile incredulous, you say these are lofty pre- 
tensions, but what semblance of justification can be offered ? 
Well, let us see. The domain of science is the objective 
world about us, sun, moon, and stars, earth, sea, and air, 
plants, animals, and minerals, blood and bone and nerve 
and cells, ether and atoms and sub-atoms and electrons and 
ions and protions, in a word, the whole universe of mass 
and motion. All of these science struggles with ever finer 
and finer subdivision to arrange and order and describe 
harmoniously and consistently in regular forms called laws. 
A prodigious, an infinite task, which can never be per- 
fectly performed, but which may be advanced on its way 
further and further without end; a great and a glorious 
task, which it is the honor and the dignity, the necessity 
and the blessedness of the human soul to set itself and to 
work at forever. 

But what are all these objects, this whole sensible world 
around us? Are they the ultima tes of the universe? Are 
they its finalities? Are they all? Is everything derived 
from them? and beside them is there no other? To give 
the answer Yes! as so often is hastily done, even where 
we might expect something better, is to make the greatest 
mistake of which human nature is capable. That the uni- 
verse, the sum total of being, consists of atoms or anything 
like atoms, or of masses in motion, is the greatest error 
possible to our understanding, and also the most danger- 
ous; for however noble may be the spirit that strikes into 


this path, it must be led thereby ever downward deeper and 
deeper into the shade, to the City of Dreadful Night. The 
conception of the universe as a mere dance of atoms is 
indeed an appalling, a paralyzing conception; nothing to 
me sounds more piteous than the cry of a mighty soul, of 
some strong swimmer in his agony, as of Bertrand Russell 
or Matthew Arnold, while this tremendous quasi-scientific 
conception enswathes it with impenetrable gloom. Hear 
the poet in his famous lines on "Dover Beach." 

"Ah, love, let us be true 

To one another ! For the world which seems 
To lie before us like a land of dreams, 
So various, so beautiful, so new, 
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, 
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; 
And we are here as on a darkling plain 
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, 
Where ignorant armies clash by night." 

The temptation is strong to dwell upon the deep and 
widespread and all-pervasive working of this materialistic 
conception, to show how it moulds, and how it tinges where 
it does not mould, all our modes of thought and feeling, all 
the activities of our life, our politics, our society, our 
amusements, our literature, and even our art. Consider 
the Omar Khayyam craze that swept over us some years 
ago, consider the beautiful illustrations by Elihu Vedder, 
with their ever recurrent swirl expressing the alternate 
collection and dissipation of the life-elements, now gath- 
ered up into a person, now scattered to the winds. But 
the minutes will not wait, we must hurry on. The popular, 
the current, the quasi-scientific answer "yes," is then an 
utterly hopeless answer ; but that is not the whole of it ; the 
answer is not only hopeless, it is also false. Precisely here 
philosophy must and does administer its great corrective, 
not by way of any abridgement but by way of enlarge- 
ment and supplementation. What science maintains about 
the physical world is just and true, and immensely impor- 


tant. But such is not the whole story. The physical world 
of moving masses is not the final, not the ultimate world. 
On the contrary, it is a construct, a world of images, of 
symbols that are not at all like the things they symbolize. 
Such is the central and fundamental proposition of philos- 
ophy, the pivot on which all our thinking turns. 

As already hinted, no complete proof can be given at 
present, though certain clear indications should suffice. 
Hold up a pencil before your face and look with both eyes 
open straight at the moon, you will see two pencils; now 
look straight at the pencil, you will see two moons. The 
two pencils and two moons are clearly constructs which 
you make in the act of seeing; your seeing consists in the 
making of these constructs. What is said of the pencils 
holds equally of the world around you: it is made by you 
in the act of seeing, it is made double, to every point P 
there corresponds a point P' ; only in a certain region, a line 
or surface called the horopter, do the corresponding points 
P and P' fall together into one. Moreover, this horopter 
changes immensely from instant to instant, it flutters like 
a flag in a September gale. Since this world of sight is 
thus built up and changed from instant to instant and is 
in general always double, it is idle to talk of this visible 
world as being an ultimate or final thing; it is demon- 
strably a vision, a construct of your own spirit activity. 

Similarly, if you press gently on your eye-ball you will 
see the page before you divide and another page swim out 
just like the first, and you will also see a bright ring appear 
above the other eye. These visions are also constructs, or 
spatial interpretations of your unspatial mental states. So, 
too, if you fall and strike the back of your head while 
roller-skating on the sidewalk, you will perhaps see stars. 
If you stand before a mirror, you will construct a world 
behind the mirror and call it a reflection, but it is a contruct 
none the less. If you look at the smooth pictures in a 


stereoscope, you will construct what has no depth into 
endless depths of space. If disturbed in sleep or treated 
with hashish or opium, you may have amazing dreams, in 
which you see or construct titanic scenes and enact a long- 
drawn-out history. All these are constructs, all of the same 
general nature, all the creatures of your ever active soul. 

But you say, all these are unreal imaginations, whereas 
the tree, the house, your friend's body, and your own are 
all real objects permanent and sensible to all. However, 
we have just seen that the apparently permanent things, 
like pencil and moon, are not permanent and unchanging, 
they are swiftly changing every moment. But is there no 
difference between the real and the unreal ? Certainly, an 
immense difference. The real is what we all construct 
alike, or so nearly alike that it may and does pass as exactly 
alike ; hence we speak of it as the same. A and B looking 
at the sky construct each his own moon, but since A and B 
are nearly identical, the two constructs or moons are also 
nearly identical. The Real then is the common and con- 
stant element in the constructs of individual spirits; hence 
it appears permanent, unchanging, the same for all men. 1 

What has been said about seeing may be said about all 
other forms of sensing, as hearing, tasting, smelling, touch- 
ing etc. : all are modes of constructing, of forming space- 
and-time symbols of spiritual activities that are not in 
space or time. 

It is curious to note what seemingly strange forms 
these constructions take. You have an experience of strain, 
of muscle contraction, and you construct a certain sight as 
near; you have an experience of relaxation, and you con- 
struct the object as far away. You have a certain feeling 
of rotation of the eyes, and you construct the object as tall 
or high; you have another different feeling of rotation 

1 For an interesting though unsatisfactory discussion of this point see F. 
Enriques, Problemi della Scienza, Chap. II, pp. 58-107. 


and you construct the object as long or horizontally ex- 
tended. You have a certain experience that rises and falls 
and returns to its first stage, and you construct the sight 
as of a circle or other closed curve. You have another ex- 
perience of even, gentle relaxation, and you construct a 
level moon-beam or perhaps a straight railroad track. 

Well, then, your visible, tangible, audible, sensible world 
is a world of constructs, the products of your own spirit- 
activity, and it is real just so far as your spirit-activity 
agrees with itself and with the communal spirit-activity 
of your spirit-fellows. But what, you ask, is a spirit, a 
soul, a mind, anyway? That is a question each of you must 
answer for yourself, no one can answer it for you. Your 
inner experience is known to you and to you only. I can 
only guess whether you are interested or bored. You may 
be in accord, or you may be spurning my words as non- 
sense. But you know, each one of you, though your knowl- 
edge is strictly incommunicable, whatever signs or gestures 
you may make ; for a word is a sign, it is a gesture of the 
vocal organs. 

What then do you know? I can never tell. But I may be 
allowed to make a bold and momentous hypothesis. I guess 
that you are like me. Observing that my own body, as a 
sense-construct, corresponds to my own spirit-nature, to 
my own soul-experiences, and observing that your body, as 
also a sense-construct, resembles my own in general plan 
and countless details, I apply the familiar Rule of Three 
and form the proportion : As my body is to my spirit, so is 
your body to your spirit. 

Such is my reason, not a strictly logical, but an ex- 
tremely probable analogical, reason for supposing there are 
other spirits than my own, and that I am not now talking to 
a congregation of vapors and automata. Correct or in- 
correct, we proceed on this hypothesis. I suppose then that 
there are as many inner experiences as there are faces 


before me, inner experiences much like my own. If so, 
then you feel, you think, you will, you hope, you fear, you 
love, you hate, and do a million other such things that you 
know about and that no other can or at least does know 
about. All these incommunicables are elements or contents 
of your experience. 

But who are you? Well, these contents of experience, 
these hopes, fears, pains, pleasures, thoughts, feelings, wills, 
and the rest, known and knowable to you and you only, 
are not a mere bundle; they are all tight interwoven at 
each and every instant, each essential to every other, and all 
interlocked in a definite way not quite the same for any 
two of you. No one of you thinks or feels precisely the 
same as any other at this instant. This is not all, however. 
No one of you is quite the same at any two instants, that 
is, the total complex of your experience varies from instant 
to instant, like an iridescent garment gleaming in the sun. 
Such a total complex (at any instant) of your thoughts, 
feelings, desires, and the like we may call a cross-section 
of your being. These cross-sections vary from instant to 
instant as your life runs along. But they do not vary wildly 
and at random from moment to moment, from hour to 
hour, from day to day, from year to year. On the contrary, 
they change in a very definite way as you move on in life, 
a way that is very much alike in us all, but not exactly alike 
in any two, though extremely alike in unioval twins. So 
then your total soul-experience, the sum of your psychic 
experiences (both conscious and subconscious), hangs to- 
gether in a definite unity at every instant and also in a 
definite series of such unities from instant to instant. Now 
this whole definite way in which your experience hangs to- 
gether not only at every moment but all the time from 
moment to moment, this entire connectivity, is your Self, 
your Ego, your Personality, which is thus seen to be a 
Lazv of Psychic Form. 


Now that there actually is such a thing as psychic ex- 
perience, such a thing as thought, feeling, volition, as hope 
and fear, pleasure and pain, purpose and the like, is the 
one thing that I know and you know, each for himself as 
a fact, and we each assume it for all of our fellows. Not 
merely, however, for all our fellow men, but also for all 
our fellow beasts: we assume that each of these is really 
a spirit, that it has psychic experience similar to our own, 
though of far lower order, and all our daily life proceeds 
on this assumption. We ascribe feelings, such as fear 
and desire and pain and pleasure and the like, to dogs and 
cats and horses and birds. These latter, indeed, Aristoph- 
anes seems to have regarded with awe and wonder as an 
airy antemundane thing, as being 

"Born the first of things 
Before the sun, before the wind, 
Before the gods, before mankind 

Wishes there and feelings strong, 
Incommunicable throng." 

Note, however, very carefully. We must not think of 
the body of any animal as the dwelling of its soul, as a place 
or region where the soul lives and has all these psychic 
experiences. By no means ; the soul does not dwell in any 
body, it is vain to hunt for it there or anywhere else. It 
dwells in no place at all, it is placeless. All the bodies that 
you see are your own constructs, the creatures of your own 
soul-activity, and not one of these bodies has any soul, not 
even your own body. But you are a complex of well-ordered 
soul-experiences which correspond to . your body and to 
which your body corresponds. And since as a matter of 
fact your soul-experience corresponds to your body, you 
assume that there is a soul-experience corresponding to 
your neighbor's body ; and also to your pet parrot's body, 
and also to the fierce tiger's body, and to the body of the 
oyster and the earth-worm, and of all the rest. But these 


assumed soul-experiences corresponding to these bodies by 
no means dwell in these bodies. If then we speak of the 
soul of any body it is only an elliptical expression; we 
mean the complex of soul-experiences not dwelling in that 
body but only corresponding to that body. Pardon me for 
insisting so much on this point, but it is all important and 
extremely likely to be misunderstood. 

Well, then, with this made clear once for all, we can 
see at once that it is quite impossible to stop anywhere in 
the descent upon the Jacob's ladder of spirits. It is a ques- 
tion of degree and not of kind. If we assume a soul-life 
corresponding to the body of A, and we must do the like 
for B and C and D and so on clear down to Z, through the 
whole alphabet of bodies ; there must be a soul-life corre- 
sponding to every animal and as well to every plant. Nay, 
we cannot stop there, for the biologist can find no clear 
dividing line between the organic and the inorganic, as 
Shaefer so recently declared in his famous Dundee address. 
We must assume a soul-life, though of inexpressibly low 
degree, as corresponding to the colloids, to the crystals, 
to the molecules, to the atoms, to the sub-atoms, the elec- 
trons, and to whatever other finer pulverizations may be 
discovered in the constitution of matter. In other words, 
we must assume soul-life, psychic experience, of order how- 
ever infinitely low, as corresponding to every phase, how- 
ever elemental, in the vast complex of constructs that each 
soul builds up around it and calls the physical world. 

If such be the case, then each one of us is a soul, a 
spirit, and the universe is a republic of spirits, a city of 
souls. And each one of us builds up around him at every 
instant a vast world of constructs, of symbols that represent 
to him the unbounded spiritual realm of which he is a citi- 
zen. It is only through the medium of these constructs, of 
this amazing system of symbols, this consummate social 
device, that any one spirit can or does enter into communi- 


cation with any other. You can not tell what your friend 
or your foe is feeling or thinking or willing except through 
his words and deeds, but these words and deeds are phe- 
nomena of mass and motion; they are not spirit, they are 
only the signs, the symbols of spirit. When your friend 
smiles, when your foe scowls, you do not see his love or his 
hate, you see only certain motions of his features, certain 
changes in the configuration of masses. You interpret these 
changes to signify love or hate. But the whole body of 
your friend or foe was your own construct, your own men- 
tal creation, which you made involuntarily as the sign or 
symbol of your own mental state, and your own mental 
state not in itself but in relation to another assumed mental 
or spiritual being called your friend or your foe. 

Let us then grasp firmly and hold tenaciously this im- 
portant notion, that each of us is a spirit in the midst of 
spirits ; that we are acting and interacting with each other 
continually, and that the vast image of this system of mu- 
tual interactions is the boundless physical world of sights 
and sounds and masses and motions with which each one, 
each spirit, engirdles himself at every moment, spinning 
the universe of space and time all round him as the silk 
worm spins its costly cocoon. 

This is not yet all, however. Not only is every spirit 
compassed about by an infinite engirdling cloud of spirits 
symbolized by earth and heaven and all that in them is, 
but the union of these spirits is complete and perfect. There 
is not only a Many, there is also a One. The universe is a 
unit. It is a Whole. All the exactest science proceeds and 
must proceed on this supposition. The law of Newton de- 
clares that every two particles attract each other directly 
as the product of their masses and inversely as the squared 
distance between them. Newton indeed was thinking 
solely of our solar system, but his successors do not hesitate 
to extend his law to the remotest stars. If in the depths 


of space there should be found any exception, that would 
only be an occasion to seek for some still higher law of 
mutual interaction ; the physicist does not admit the notion 
of any particle in the universe out of harness with the rest, 
if there were any such, it would be of itself another Uni- 
verse. He thinks of each atom as the center of a web whose 
fibers shoot thence in every direction to every other atom 
in the world. Thus, with its radiant lines of force, every 
atom fills the whole physical world. But none excludes 
any other, they are all interpenetrative. 

The most modern physicist, who thinks of the atom or 
ion as a phase of strain in the universal ether, illustrates 
the same necessity of viewing the world as a whole; for 
his ether is universal, and each phase at every point is 
determined by the total stress and strain of the one all- 
comprehending whole. We do indeed roughly and inac- 
curately imagine the universe as granular, as like an im- 
mense swarm of bees broken up into a countless host of 
subordinate swarms, and these seem to us to be separate 
and very distinct. Thus you say the desk is here, the door 
is there, the tree is yonder. But this segregation is artifi- 
cial, for convenience only. The physicist, the astronomer, 
the man of science cannot endure it. His thinking restores 
and forces him to restore the shattered unity of the world. 
Similarly a sentence is granulated into words, and these 
into letters ; but it is the sentence that is relatively primitive 
and unital. 

Now this physical frame of things is only a construct, 
a symbol of spirit interacting amid spirit. The merely 
seeming separation of the elements of this material uni- 
verse is a defect, or at least a peculiarity, in this symbol- 
ism, which we have just seen it is the self-imposed task 
of scientific thought to overcome. Since thought cannot 
rest satisfied with a granulated or subdivided world, but 
insists on thinking the physical world as one, it would 


seem that we cannot hesitate, but must regard the spirit 
world, the original of the physical picture, as also a unit, 
as an entirety, as a whole. This unital spirit is what a 
Hegel might call the Absolute, but we do not need the 
term. There are many other indications that point clearly 
toward this spiritual oneness of the world, many other 
paths of thought that lead to the same goal. But time 
fails us, we can not pursue them now. Mark well, how- 
ever, that this unity is noway inconsistent with infinite 
multiplicity. The individual spirit may be one with the 
universal spirit and yet by no means cease to be individual. 
This individual spirit is perhaps best conceived not as a 
part, but as a phase, of the universal spirit, even as the 
modern physicist may think of his electron or protion as 
a phase of strain or displacement in his universal ether. 
In fact, this conception, though certainly difficult and at 
first puzzling, admits of the most various illustrations. 
Even if none of these be quite satisfactory by itself, yet the 
general convergence of their indications may content us. 
When we find the meridians all coming together towards 
a pole, we feel sure there is something of the kind there 
somewhere, though it is unlikely that any of Dr. Cook's 
tracks are to be found in its vicinity. Since this concep- 
tion of the unity of all spirits in one spirit is essential for 
what follows, it may be well to pause and resort to some of 
these illustrations. 

Imagine a sphere of water, like the earth before dry 
land appeared, with its surface swaying in gentle waves, 
and consider one of those waves. Look at it closely, and 
you see it made up of countless crinkles and wavelets. 
Suppose you would define one of these wavelets precisely, 
would tell exactly what it is. To do this you would have to 
consider the adjacent wavelets and tell what they were; 
for the wavelet is what it is only by virtue of the bordering 
wavelets being each exactly what they are; any change in 


the next lying wavelet would induce a corresponding 
change in the central wavelet. But the wavelets of this 
first ring are similarly determined by the second ring, and 
these by the third, and so on throughout. It is plain that 
the central wavelet is thus determined by the whole sphere. 
The being of the tiniest dimple on the face of the ocean 
thus extends itself throughout the whole. In this sense 
then we may say that the wavelet is identical with the 
sphere, but every other wavelet is similarly identical, they 
differ only in degree, not in kind, and the whole sphere is 
the perfect unity of all the wavelets. 

Consider also the case of a vibrating chord, as of a 
violin, or of an ether-beam, a ray of light. The physicist 
will tell you that either of these is or may be vibrating in 
millions of ways all at the same time. The unital sensation 
in question and corresponding to this physical construct 
called vibrating ether-thread is (we may say) that of white 
light; this white-light sensation (or may be purple-light 
sensation) is felt as just as simple as the purest blue, or the 
purest yellow of the line D, yet it is resoluble into indefi- 
nitely many frequencies of vibration and may be spread 
out in a long rainbow spectrum (not to mention higher 
and lower frequencies). In case of the vibrating chord, 
one form of vibration (of the chord as a whole) corre- 
sponds to the fundamental tone, while the other so-called 
over-tones or upper harmonics correspond to the vibrations 
of the chord in parts. These overtones coexist with the 
fundamental ground tone, the chord vibrates at the same 
time as a whole and as subdivided in countless ways into 
parts. These vibrations coexist and in no way interfere 
with each other. The corresponding over-tones coexist 
and in no way interfere with each other or with the ground- 
tone, but all melt into one tone which is rich in its timbre 
because of the over-tones, whereas without them the 
ground-tone would be thin and poor. But the tone is felt 


as one, though it may be thus mathematically and even 
experimentally analyzed into many. 

But we need not go to light nor to sound for an example 
of this coexistence of unity with multiplicity. Your daily 
life is full of it. You get on the Samson for a river trip 
and steam up against the current. This current is bearing 
you downstream four miles an hour, but the wheel drives on 
the vessel upstream much faster. Meantime you are spin- 
ning round the earth's axis from west to east say 800 miles 
per hour ; and with the earth you are racing round the sun 
nearly 19 miles per second; and with the sun and all the 
planets and a motley crowd of eccentric comets and meteors 
you are driving through the sky toward the constellation 
of Hercules. All the while you are moving every way on 
deck and perhaps throwing a ball with accuracy; for the 
movement of the throw melts together with all these other 
motions into perfect unity. They all coexist and mutually 
determine but nowise interfere. 

Nor is there any limit whatever to this composition or 
resolution, as there seems to be no limit to the refinement 
of the physicist in his dissipation of masses into molecules, 
and molecules into atoms, and atoms into sub-atoms, and 
so on without end. There is a wonderful curve known as 
the curve of Weierstrass, that prince of mathematical ex- 
actness. At first sight it would look like an ordinary 
smooth curve of sines, such as you see when you shake a 
line that is fastened at one end, or as when you snap a 
whip-cracker. But on scanning it closely you would see 
that it was not smooth but undulatory up and down like 
a sea-surface or the asphalt pavement of a New Orleans 
street. On looking at it still closer with a microscope you 
would see that each little undulation was wrinkled with a 
host of other still smaller undulations of the same kind; 
and each of these in turn under a still more powerful micro- 
scope would shiver into still smaller undulations, and so 


on forever. But the curve is meanwhile one, precisely given 
by its definition. 

So too the indefinitely fine subdivision of the physical 
world by the physicist does not militate against its unity, 
which he is compelled to reconstruct in thought. Accord- 
ingly we may hold confidently that the spiritual universe is 
a coexistence of many in one, and you who like mathe- 
matics may find a much clearer, more beautiful and more 
convincing analogy in an algebraic equation connecting 
a, b, c, d. . . .x, y, z. . ., holding them all clasped together 
in a mental unity, while respecting the individuality of 
each one. Nay, more, you know that you can often solve 
such an equation, that is, you can express one symbol, one 
of the magnitudes, in terms of all the others, and even 
when you cannot solve the equation, that is due only to the 
inadequacy of your mathematics, you may still think of 
and deal with the equation as if it were solved. When it 
is thus solved, the original equational relation is not 
changed, it is the same as before, but it now consists in 
"declaring that x (for instance) equals some expression 
involving all the other symbols in some definite combina- 
tion. Thus the one symbol x, so expressed, through the 
other symbols, is the equivalent of the whole original equa- 
tion, certainly a striking illustration of the identity of one 
with all. 

So, then, by this long and toilsome path we reach this 
conception of the universe, of the spiritual universe, the 
original whereof the physical universe is each man's con- 
struct or picture, constructed or painted according to each 
man's ability as an artist. This spiritual world we think 
of as one, as a garment of life and thought and feeling and 
will, a garment woven without seam from top to bottom. 
Woven did I say? Nay, not so. Goethe does indeed put 
these noble lines into the mouth of the Earth-Spirit : 


"Through Time's whirring loom so the shuttle I drive 
And weave of the Godhead the garment alive." 

But the living vestment of Deity is not woven, the image 
is imperfect. As the shuttle flies back and forth it lays 
the threads side by side, and no matter how close, they are 
still distinct, like the lines of a diffraction grating. But 
the living vesture of the Deity is not thus woven, there are 
no threads, however close, side by side. The garment of 
the Godhead is a continuum. It is like a line, which is not 
made up of points no matter how dense you may crowd 
the points together. 

It is very tempting to enlarge upon this beautiful and 
wonderful notion of a continuum, but the time is short 
and concise subtlety might repel you. It is enough for the 
present to know that the straight line between two points 
A and B is a continuum, as containing not very many 
points compacted, but all positions that a point would need 
to take in passing straight from A to B without making any 
jumps whatever. Such is the continuum, one of the most 
important of all exact human concepts. As some such 
continuum we conceive spirit to be, not of course as a line 
nor as a surface, nor the like; these space- and time-con- 
tinua are only the constructs that image or symbolize the 
activities of the spirit-continuum. 

As it is once for all our nature to think all things in 
symbols, especially the deepest things, even as Goethe has 
said: "The deepest can be said in symbols only" (Das 
Tiefste lasst sick nur symbolisch sagen), it may be well to 
have some sense-image of the spirit as thus conceived. 
The sea-surface or a vast spherical flag may partially serve 
the purpose, a sea-surface heaving now in the light of con- 
sciousness, now in the dark of subconsciousness, a flag 
sunlit here and there in its swells and elsewhere shaded in 
endless degrees, iridescent as the rainbow, and gleaming 


and glooming beyond the day and the night. But the flag 
and the sea-surface are both continuous and unrent, one 
and indivisible. You have doubtless seen a very ordinary 
flag floating lazily from the mast of an anchored ship, while 
the smooth face of the water swayed in a thousand oscil- 
lating mirrors below; and you have noticed how the flag 
was reflected in a thousand distorted and fragmentary 
images in the waters beneath ; the fragments were distinct 
and a great multitude, but the flag was one. So in the 
world-image of the spirit we behold millions and decillions 
of separate forms, the stars and skies and earth and ocean 
and stones and trees and men; and again, though the im- 
ages are countless, the spirit that is imaged is one. 

It is this unity of the spirit that lies at the basis of all 
history, of all life, of all science, of all morality. It is be- 
cause all thought is ultimately one, that we can have a 
doctrine of logic; because life is one, we can classify and 
develop a biology; because all soul is one we can have an 
ethics, both a theory and a practice of morality. In fact, 
all morality rests upon sympathy, as Adam Smith so deeply 
divined, and as Sutherland has so clearly illustrated. But 
sympathy and love, which are the regnant facts of social 
life, are only forms and specializations of unity, of oneness 
with our fellows. Behold then the reconciliation of egoism 
and altruism, of selfishness and unselfishness. The great 
logical advantage of the egoist has long been felt and was 
set forth by Plato with tremendous energy in the first books 
of the Republic. The young logician excites the utmost 
admiration of Socrates, who feels that it is impossible to 
confute him without going back exceeding far into ultimate 
questions. Indeed, he is irrefutable so long as we retain 
the ordinary notion of self. It is only by an immense ex- 
pansion of this concept that we gain a coign of logical van- 
tage. Altruism can overcome egoism only by ingurgita- 
tion, by swallowing it alive. By this process alone the 


antagonism is removed. Yourself is in truth your only 
object of interest or obligation, but only yourself in its 
largest and only proper sense. But this largest sense ex- 
tends your self throughout the world, even as the complete 
definition of the wavelet must extend the wavelet over the 
whole sphere. You cannot wrong your neighbor without 
wronging yourself, for behold your neighbour is an aspect 
of your own universal self. 

Now the logic of the situation admits of no escape from 
these conclusions, but it is one thing to know and it is quite 
another to feel. Logical conviction maybe attained and yet 
leave us cold and lifeless. The head maybe converted and 
the heart remain unmoved. It is for the feeling of Universal 
Unity, the consciousness of the cosmic Self, the enkindling, 
ennobling, enlightening, inspiring sense of the world-soul, 
of pan-psychic selfhood that I plead to-night. To be sure, 
the development, the birth, the growth of any such sense 
is not the affair of a day, of a year, of a century, or even 
of a millennium. It is the growth of myriads of years, it 
is the child of everlasting time. But this need in no way 
surprise us. How long has any and every sense, by which 
we construct the world and depict the spirit, been in grow- 
ing? Did all your remote ancestors have such glorious 
orbs of light as those wherewith you build up about you 
the wide roof of the heaven, and the steadfast footstool of 
the earth? Could the Ninth Symphony have been heard 
by your forest-ranging forebears or their own progenitors 
that huddled in the lap of the sea? Nay, your ancestors, 
that is you yourself at that early dawn, had no specific 
organs of sight or hearing; you had only a more or less 
sensitive surface with perhaps here and there a spot of 
especial tenderness. Neither had you any definite sense of 
beauty or duty or truth or right. All of these you had 
then only as infinitesimal germs, now they adorn you as 
the diadem of your being. So too the world-sense, the 


consciousness of your universal selfhood, exists with you 
as only the feeblest spark, but the breath of time shall fan 
it into heaven-ascending flame. 

Some, though, may question whether there is any such 
sense at all, however nascent. None the less, the proof of 
the fact is overwhelming, the indications are numberless 
and unequivocal. No one can look far back upon the vista 
of the vanished years and doubt that the moral sense, the 
feeling of obligation, has been growing steadily through 
all that undistinguished lapse of ages. We need not go 
back to the amoeba in this exploration. We may stop at 
our ancestors of only a few thousand or even hundred 
years ago, and we shall find there only the feeblest sense 
of brotherhood, extending only to the family or at most to 
the tribe. Within that narrow circle there was a sense of 
duty, of right, but not beyond ; the stranger was the enemy, 
to whom nothing was due. But now we recognize not only 
our duties to all men but also our obligations to the dumb 
brutes of the field. We organize societies for the preven- 
tion of cruelty to animals, and there are at least some in 
whom buds the feeling of obligation to the plants. Mean- 
while we continue not only to extensify but also to intensify 
the feeling of obligation, which is a budding sense of our life 
as not merely narrowly individual. No matter how much your 
views may vary in the present war, you must unreservedly 
admire the immeasurable spontaneity with which the at- 
tacked countries have leaped to the defense of the national 
life in danger; even the English, that most insulated and 
individualistic of the great peoples, have at length roused 
themselves to intense national consciousness, and now rally- 
ing throughout the length and breadth of their earth-wide 
empire, they present a seamless and continuous front to the 
foe. Contrast herewith the state of the world ten thousand 
years ago, when the largest people would hardly measure 
up now to our smallest, when the bulk of the population 


consisted of vagrant groups of a few hundred or perhaps 
thousands, and the immense strides of human conscious- 
ness toward solidarity must become evident. Consider also 
the great international movements that meet us on every 
hand, the universal congresses that gather more and more 
frequently in our great cosmopolitan cities, above all con- 
sider Social Democracy, beyond doubt the most impressive 
of recent political phenomena, and it seems impossible to 
mistake the indications that we may now behold the faint 
purpling over all the tree of human life, which betokens 
the putting forth of a new and glorious foliage, the faint 
streakings of the dawn of a broader and brighter day. 

Some one may say all this is but the progress of civili- 
zation. Perhaps; but what is civilization? May we not 
now perceive it in a clearer light as the history of the birth 
and growth of the world-consciousness, the progressive 
reconciliation of the Many and the One? There are many 
other aspects of this matter that deserve presentation, but 
I have chosen only a few and these perhaps not the most 
impressive. Hastening on now we must not fail to note 
that this bourgeoning sense of worldhood has already come 
to premonitory recognition in the consciousness of many 
of the noblest sons of earth. Naught else indeed inspired 
the great Stoic idea of universal humanity, of the world 
as one living being, of our citizenship in heaven. The 
same high note is heard as an overtone all through the 
dissertations of Epictetus and the meditations of the noble 
Emperor Aurelius (after whom our own city of New Or- 
leans is named) . It is the same great thought that inspired 
Giordano Bruno and upheld his spirit unbowed even at the 
stake. It is the same that animated the illustrious Spinoza, 
the God-intoxicated Jew of Amsterdam, of whom alone 
among men Schleiermacher could use these words : "Offer 
with me reverentially a lock of hair to the manes of the holy 
but proscribed Spinoza. The Divine Spirit transfused him, 


the Infinite was his beginning and his end, the Universe 
his only and everlasting love. Into this eternal world he 
mirrored himself and saw how he was its noblest mirror. 
Full of religion was he and full of a holy spirit, and there- 
fore he stands alone and unrivaled, master in his art, but 
exalted above profane society, without disciples, without 
even citizenship." 

Yet, though without disciples, it was the spark of his 
spirit that enkindled the greatest minds of Germany, such 
as Lessing and Herder and Schiller, and chief of all Goethe, 
in whom we find the sense of oneness with the world the 
liveliest of all. It would be easy to quote by the hour in 
proof hereof, but the time is nigh out. Consider only a 
few of the Xenions of Goethe and Schiller (so beautifully 
translated and published of late by Dr. Paul Carus), such 

"Strive on much as thou mayest, thou standest alone there forever 
Until Nature the Strong knitteth thee unto the whole." 

And again : 

"Let none equal another, yet every one equal the Highest ! 
How can that be? Let each one be complete in himself." 

or this from Faust: 

"How each to All its being gives ! 
One in the other works and lives." 

If now we pass on in haste to Wordsworth, the poet- 
child of Spinoza, we shall find that this thought of the 
oneness of man with the world has transfused all his writ- 
ings and often uplifted an otherwise unsoaring nature to 
the highest pinnacles of poesy, as when he declares, 

"And I have felt 

A presence that disturbs me with the joy 
Of elevated thoughts ; a sense sublime 
Of something far more deeply interfused, 
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean, and the living air, 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man : 


A motion and a spirit, that impels 

All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts, 

And rolls through all things." 

Such illustrations might be multiplied almost without 
end, and they show clearly enough that we are here dealing 
with a profound reality. It is the same nascent conscious- 
ness, the quickening and awakening sense of world-oneness, 
of the divine eternal unity of the All, that not only informs 
our science, and grounds our morality, and directs our 
world-politics and all the collective processes of our civili- 
zation, but also inspires the oracles of our most philosophic 
and deep-thoughted poets. 

And does any one believe that such a process as we have 
thus detected can stop now and here or anywhere short 
of its far distant, its ever unattainable, but yet ever more 
and more nearly approachable goal ? Surely not. It must 
go on and on forever; the faint purple flush must deepen 
into richer and richer bloom. Nothing is more absurd than 
to imagine that the dawning consciousness of the world 
has more than begun to open its eyes ; it is yet but a babe 
in arms, peeping out upon the world in inarticulate wonder. 
We cannot indeed foretell the course of its growth, we can- 
not trace out its way beforehand, it may rush out into the 
most unexpected paths. But one may be sure it will grow 
and perhaps at an astounding rate. No one beholding 
some ascidian ancestor of man ten million years ago could 
have foretold its descendant with eyes and ears that organ- 
ize universes of light and color and of melody and har- 
mony, and with still more refined senses of the true and the 
beautiful and the good that build up unending palaces of 
exact thought, and colossal fabrics of social and political 
polity, and far-shining temples of plastic art, and star-y- 
pointing pyramids of song. Verily the step seems longer 
by far from such remote ancestry to Goethe or Wordsworth 
or the average man of to-day than from him to the over- 


man of myriad years to come, who will clasp the universe 
to his heart in the nuptial rapture of a consciousness divine. 

And now finally we may touch the inmost nerve of the 
whole matter. In the minds of every one of you perhaps 
has arisen the question, "But what has all this to do with 
death?" the all-important matter, death, which, Seneca 
says, is the fairest invention of nature? Much every way, as 
we shall now see. It was August Weismann, the greatest 
continuator of Darwin, who in his essays on heredity called 
emphatic attention to a native immortality of the elemen- 
tary life-form, the cell. When the single-celled organism 
grows to a certain size it splits in two, and each of the 
cells goes on living and growing as before; and so on, 
just as long as the outer conditions of life are present. If 
the cell dies, it is from some form of accident, and not 
because it has run its life-course.* The reason of the split- 
ting in two, the so-called spontaneous fission, is to gain 
greater nourishing surface with the same volume, for two 
cells of a given shape and containing together a certain 
volume have a greater surface than one cell of the same 
shape and the same total volume an extremely important 
principle on which we cannot dwell. In the interest of 
better nutrition cells have kept on dividing and gradually 
have become specialized in their functions. These special- 
ized cells constitute the body and by becoming specialists 
have lost their inborn immortality. Meantime the contin- 
uous germ-plasm, as Weismann calls it, lives on and grows 
unceasing through the ages. 

Such very briefly is the great biologist's doctrine. He, 
of course, is speaking and very properly speaking of the 
physical organism solely. We have learned not to dis- 
parage this organism in the least, rather to revere it, but 
at the same time to understand it, as not a thing in itself, 

* More recent observations would seem to amend the contention of Weis- 



but as a construct of spirit, as a sign, a symbol, a spatial 
image of a long series of soul-experience. Well, then, for 
us the physiologic process called the death of the body is 
a process taking place not in the world of spirit, of soul- 
experience, but in the world of the symbols of that ex- 
perience. When the body B dies it does not mean that the 
corresponding spirit S dies, for there is no meaning in the 
words "a 'spirit dies" ; neither does it mean that a spirit S 
has forsaken a body B in which it has been dwelling. The 
notion that a spirit dwells in a body is a very ancient, very 
venerable notion, to be treated with great respect; but it 
is not correct, it is an old-world form outworn. No spirit 
dwells in any body. Your own body and all the world you 
see is the construct or outward symbol, which you form 
at every instant, of your own experience ; the bodies of your 
friends are the signs or images of other spirits with which 
you are at every instant related. If then your friend dies, 
the meaning is not that the corresponding symbolized spirit 
dies, by no means, but only that a certain aspect of your 
own experience is no longer representable under the image 
or symbol of your friend's body. For mind you, that 
friend's body was a construct of your own experience, it 
was a way of representing another spirit with which you 
were in the intimate relation called friendship. 

But you ask, if this spirit-friend is no longer construc- 
tible by me under the form of a body, does it not mean that 
some profound change has taken place in that spirit or in 
my relation with it? Yes, so much seems to be indicated, 
but not more. That spirit has changed profoundly its 
relation to you and its other fellows, but it has not died, 
for death is a term that has meaning only as applied to 
physical constructs formed by spirits and corresponding 
to spirits, but not as applied to spirits themselves. 

This fact comes out clearly only when we bear con- 
stantly in mind the nature of spirit as a continuum and as 


a unit. The death, the dissolution, the ceasing to be of such 
a continuous unit seem quite unthinkable, it would be noth- 
ing more nor less than the extinction, the annihilation of 
the universe, of all that is. 

And now at last we come to the final question of the 
individual conscious existence. We cannot argue but must 
merely assume that consciousness is the highest stage, yet 
known or developed, of spirit activity, and that self-con- 
sciousness is the highest stage of consciousness. It may 
sound strange, yet it seems to be the greatest general 
achievement of the human spirit, that which marks it off 
most distinctly from all other spirits mounting upward 
through the spires of form, to be able to say, "It is I." 
Toward this self-consciousness we may behold the soul 
struggling through all the ages of the past. But now that 
this pinnacle is attained, is the onward and upward march 
to stop ? By no means ! The path still leads on higher 
and higher. "Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise." 
As men we have reached the consciousness of ourselves 
as individuals, but only as individuals, only in apparent 
isolation and insulation, as of things in the physical world. 
In such insulation and isolation we are finite and bounded 
in time as things are finite and bounded being separated 
in space. 

And precisely herein lies the key and significance of our 
mortality. It is the symbol of the insulation and isolation 
of the individual spirit that has attained or is attaining a 
consciousness and even a selfconsciousness, but has not yet 
attained a universal consciousness. It is the mark of a 
spirit that can say "It is I" and "I am Some," but not yet 
"I am All." Such a spirit that has not yet risen to World- 
self consciousness, but feels itself as only one among many 
and not yet as one that permeates, transfuses, unifies, and 
comprehends all the Many, such a spirit must objectify, ex- 
ternalize, and construct both itself and all its fellows as 


finite, separate, individualized images, which we call bodies 
bounded in space and bounded in time, and death is the 
sign or symbol of this latter definition. But the spirit that 
rises inexpressibly higher, soaring as on eagle wings above 
and beyond self-consciousness, mounting aloft to the glit- 
tering peaks of World-consciousness divine, that spirit 
leaves death behind. 

A mystic or religionist might say, that soul pillows itself 
upon the breast of God, but we use not here the language 
of mysticism or religion. We shape our words to fit the 
soberer doctrines of development, of the gradual unfolding 
of the higher forms of life, of the continuous exaltation of 
psychic experience, through all the endless grades of soul- 
activity, ever upward and upward to the highest self-con- 
sciousness of man. And here not only do we find it logic- 
ally impossible to stop, but we have found that the general 
direction of spirit growth as it now shows itself among men 
is steadily set along the whole front of progress toward 
the enlargement and, we might say, the solidarification of 
the individual into a general consciousness. We have seen 
that under this sign the great historical movements, whether 
of science or art or politics or of social, industrial or com- 
mercial enterprise, take on new meaning and are stamped 
with the signet of cosmic significance. We have seen also 
that the choicest spirits both of ancient and of modern 
times have foreboded the movement of which we speak, 
have foreseen its goal, and have flung themselves gladly 
into its current, as it were into the drift of the stars. 

Yea, too, they have felt, though unable to justify the 
feeling, that on this path alone was it possible to seek for 
triumph over the last enemy, death. Says Goethe : 

"Art thou affrighted at death? and yearnest for life everlasting? 
Live in the whole ! When thou long hast departed, it stays." 

Similarly the deepest-thoughted of recent poets, George 
Meredith : 


"Our life is but a little holding, lent 

To do a mighty labor ; we are one 
With heaven and the stars when it is spent 
To serve God's aim ; else die we with the sun." 

But you will readily recognize the oracles of both these 
seers as dubious and at best only half correct ; for neither 
has any inkling of the scientific and philosophic truth that 
his words darkly adumbrate. Similarly Tennyson tells us, 
"the individual withers, and the world is more and more."* 
But the truth they miss is that cosmic history is the process 
of unfolding, of growing, a psychic experience that passes 
on up to consciousness and to self-consciousness and does 
not stop there but expands and ascends ever wider and 
higher to universal self-consciousness, to the realization 
of the world-selfhood, the identity of the individual with 
the universal, a consciousness that transcends death, because 
it removes the bonds and the bars of which death is the sign. 
There is nothing Utopian, nothing visionary in the prospect 
here set forth ; it is in line, as we have seen, with all the surest 
teachings of the austerest science. A hundred illustrations 
lie at hand, but only one have you patience to hear. When 
a one-celled organism splits in two, we must suppose the 
physical fact images some psychic process of too low an 
order for us to name, something most distantly akin to a 
feeling, to the mother-instinct of a bird or a dam that 
flutters in agony about her brood or defends her offspring 
with her own life. Perhaps it is thence a still farther cry 
to the intense love of the human mother, who loses her very 
being in her child and finds herself again therein and 
hardly less in her grand-children and even in remoter de- 

Now as this lofty triumphant feeling of love is an ab- 
solutely uninterrupted outgrowth from the nameless sub- 
sub-feeling in the single cell, unless we make the impossible 

* Especially notable in this connection is the allegory of Mr. Herbert 
Trench, Apollo and the Seaman. 


supposition that history is to call a halt in its forward 
march and henceforth retire or spin round in a circle, it 
must be that this feeling will grow as the ages roll on, into 
higher and higher super-feelings that shall identify the 
life of its descendants, that shall expand and intensify the 
parent consciousness and the parent love unendingly 
through all generations to come. Such is only one of a 
million paths along which the enlarging consciousness pur- 
sues its steady and unceasing march toward the infinite 
and immortal world-consciousness which is its heavenly 
goal. Even as a wave of the sea issuing from a pebble 
thrown into it spreads wider and wider till it compasses 
the whole sphere and gathers itself up in the opposite pole. 
"Reflection," says the Dhammapada, "is the path of 
immortality; thoughtlessness is the path of death." We 
must amend the wisdom of the Indian sage. It is conscious- 
ness that is the path not so much of immortality as of 
eternality; not mere narrow self-consciousness, but the 
consciousness of the larger Self that eradiates over the 
Whole and sees and feels that it is itself the world and that 
its fellows are each of equal right the world. Herein lies 
no contradiction, for the modern doctrine of the infinite, 
grounded by Bolzano and developed by Cantor, Dedekind, 
Keyser and others, shows clearly how the parts of an in- 
finite may each equal the whole. Such then is the path to 
immortality, the way to eternal life. Not indeed a narrow 
path, but the wide-expanding sweep of advancing con- 
sciousness, which flashes upon us here as science and there 
as art and yonder as democracy and liberty and equality 
and justice and culture and morality and self-sacrifice and 
virtue and truth and love and everywhere as philosophy, 
the guide of life. All of these, by no means excluding the 
lower but no less essential aspects of trade and commerce 
and industry and wealth and amusement and social enjoy- 
ment, all are but manifold phases of the brightening, ex- 


panding, ascending individual consciousness that more and 
more will burst all bounds, above, below, and uplift itself 
to the Universal and Eternal Whole. 

Of course there are many objections you could urge, 
not many perhaps that have not already been pondered. 
But these would require the introduction of a new order 
of notions, for which there is now no time. Enough that 
a rational interpretation of cosmic history opens before 
our eyes an increasing prospect for humanity, a vista that 
broadens and brightens unto perfect day. 



PROFESSOR Lovejoy's address before the Philosoph- 
ical Association last year expressed the suspicion that 
"something was the matter with philosophy" and returned 
to criticism and discussion as the way out of the difficulty. 
It offered nothing constructive in the solution of the prob- 
lem. "Criticism" is only a euphemism for scepticism, and 
while scepticism is a necessary weapon in that field, it is 
not the method of making philosophy. Philosophy began 
under the discovery of illusions and scepticism was the 
means of discovering and exposing them, but it was not 
the method employed by such men as Plato and Aristotle 
in their constructive work. 

There are three functions which philosophy can per- 
form, two of them not being adequately distinguished from 
each other and not occupying as much attention since Kant 
and Hume as the first one. They are (i) Criticism, (2) 
the Acquisition, and (3) the Communication of knowledge. 
Criticism is the means of breaking up dogmatism and stag- 
nant ideas in our thinking. Acquisition explains itself, 
while we too often forget the difference between it and 
the conditions for communicating what we have acquired. 
Criticism adds nothing in content to knowledge. It only 
demands clarification and perhaps certitude, though it does 
not supply it. Communication adds nothing, but transmits 
what has been acquired, while acquisition is the means of 
discovery and addition. 


I cannot enter into the analysis of the problem of 
"knowledge" at any length. That would take us far into 
epistemology and it is only a part of the general problem 
with which we are concerned here. But I must call a brief 
attention to the equivocal import of that term, a fact which 
neither Kant nor Hamilton seemed to have noticed, or to 
have sufficiently allowed for, if they did notice it. The 
term "knowledge" has two very different conceptions for 
which it does duty. The first is unity and the second is 
certainty. Or the first is unification, classification, rela- 
tion, and the second is certification, certitude, assurance. 
If we can only keep these apart in our discussions, we 
would quickly come to agreement in our problem. But we 
are perpetually confusing them and committing fallacies 
as evident as in the paradoxes of Zeno about motion. Ham- 
ilton defined knowledge as relation and Herbert Spencer 
followed him. It was easy to see in this conception why he 
denied any "knowledge" of the Absolute. It was not com- 
prehensible in terms of a higher genus. It was not classi- 
fiable, or unified with a more general concept. It was the 
summum genus itself. But Hamilton sought certitude for 
the fact of the Absolute in Faith, and this was opposed to 
"knowledge," an opposition quite clear on his definition, 
but absurd on the definition that "knowledge" implied cer- 
titude. Hamilton, however, while correct as to the scholas- 
tic use of the term "faith" did not see that it, too, was 
equivocal. It did duty for the most certain thing in con- 
sciousness and also for the most uncertain things, namely, 
dogmas that required proof or some means of certification. 
Hence the attack of Mill upon him without discovering 
exactly what Hamilton was after. If Hamilton's doctrine 
had not been invoked in the defence of theology it might 
have been either disregarded or admitted as harmless. It 
was at least perfectly logical and irrefutable as reasoning 
on his premises. The point of criticism should have been 


against his definitions or assumptions and not his reason- 
ing. It was Descartes that suggested the definition of 
certitude for the term, as his doubt was convertible with 
uncertainty, and whatever other conceptions may have 
lurked in his employment of the term, that of certitude 
was reflected in his position and became permanently em- 
bodied in its use. There and then the conflict began be- 
tween "knowledge" as relation and knowledge as certitude. 
We shall see the importance of this later. 

But what is the problem of philosophy? Most people, 
perhaps all, would answer, the "knowledge" of Reality. 
But what is reality? One answers phenomena and the 
other noumena. One says sensory data and the other 
supersensory data. But at this point the problem divides 
further into the process of "knowing" them and the object 
of "knowledge." This gives rise to epistemology along 
with metaphysics. Epistemology is concerned primarily 
with the process and metaphysics with the object of "knowl- 
edge." But in fact the two cannot be separated except 
logically, so to speak, and we have always to have refer- 
ence to both in the philosophic problem as a whole. At one 
time it comprised the whole field of things known, but be- 
came limited by the development of the special sciences and 
in that way was left the dowry of the insoluble problems 
of the universe. The consequence was that, in leaving the 
determination of facts, the acquisition of "knowledge," con- 
sidered in terms of its objects, to science, it was confined 
to the criticism and analysis of these data and to the ex- 
position and communication of ideas while the discovery 
and acquisition of them was made subordinate. In criti- 
cism and analysis scepticism either served as the basis or 
was concealed behind an effort to clarify concepts. The 
constructive function of philosophy was lost in the effort 
to find its elements. But the problem is complicated and 
requires preliminary analysis of its aspects. 


Let me state, therefore, some important facts and dis- 
tinctions with which I undertake the analysis of our prob- 
lem. ( i ) There are the separate and yet connected prob- 
lems of the acquisition and of the communication of "knowl- 
edge." Psychological question and processes are involved, 
but these two problems are mainly occupied with the con- 
tent or matter of "knowledge." (2) There is the problem 
of certitude, as complicated with both acquisition and com- 
munication of "knowledge." This, too, involves psycho- 
logical processes, but puts the stress of thought on the 
modality of judgment, or the degree of assurance con- 
nected with the state of mind involved. (3) There is the 
problem of the personal equation in acquiring and com- 
municating "knowledge." This concerns the question 
whether the subject is a visuel, an audile, or a motile, or 
the problem of the center of reference for the connections 
and assimilation of experience. (4) There is the problem 
of the formulation of "knowledge," or the embodiment of 
it in language which will convey it most intelligently. 

Now if "knowledge" and certitude are made conver- 
tible in meaning, the first and second problems are the 
same, but the distinction between acquisition and com- 
munication will remain. The third problem will concern 
the psychological peculiarities that affect the representative 
ideas of the subject and will determine some, if not all, the 
differences of opinion that arise in the discussion of funda- 
mental problems. The fourth is a problem for communi- 
cation, not for acquisition. 

Now the modern philosopher, perhaps the ancient phi- 
losopher also, is less an inquirer than he is an expositor 
or teacher. When he was the discoverer and depository 
of all the "knowledge" men possessed, he had no com- 
petitors. He was. the wise man in general and had no 
special problem. But the off-shoots of his general informa- 
tion in the sciences have deprived him of the monopoly of 


"knowledge" and left him a purveyor rather than an in- 
vestigator. As a communicator of "knowledge" he labors 
under limitations which the discoverer does not. He must 
adapt himself to the experience and limitations of his audi- 
tor or reader. He must impress his ideas in the mould of 
another intelligence, even though he has to modify or aban- 
don the terminology of his natural habits in thinking. He 
must employ ad hominem methods. Communication in- 
volves social categories affected by the personal equation 
of the receiver. Acquisition is not a social affair. It is 
individual and may employ methods that are difficult to 
convert into transmissive agencies. This will be apparent 
as we proceed. 

The wide general problem of knowledge is the unifica- 
tion and the explanation of facts. Perhaps we could say 
the unification or explanation of facts, according as we 
accept the wider or the narrower meaning of explanation. 
But the problem is to make the world of experience intelli- 
gible and the question is how this is done. What are the 
conditions on which the mind proceeds in doing this? 

In answer to this question, preliminary to the discussion 
of the difficulties of the philosopher in his appropriate work, 
I may reduce all these fundamental principles to one gen- 
eral root : namely, that of causality with allowance for its 
divisions and for nomology. I use the term causality in 
its widest sense for the moment and shall notice its divi- 
sions presently. I must mention nomology as concerned with 
the laws of things and as not entering into final explana- 
tions, whatever relation it may have to practical questions. 
It is par excellence the function of science, whatever else 
may be conceded to that department of intellectual activity. 
But causality is the fundamental conception on which all 
philosophy is built and it is divided into two branches. I 
shall call them efficient and material causes. The former is 
the usual conception of the term outside technical philo- 


sophical problems, but there are reasons for philosophy 
wanting the wider use of the term for certain special mat- 
ters, especially as efficient and material causes may be so 
closely associated in the same facts. An efficient cause is 
one which is active and produces events. It is originative, 
or creative in some sense of the term. A material cause 
is one which is constitutive of the nature of a thing and 
may not be active or creative at all. Efficient causes I 
divide into Internal or subjective and External or objective 
causes. Material causes I divide into conferential and 
differential, or identity and difference. A tabular view 
of them with appropriate characterization will make this 
clearer, and will enable readers to understand better what 


Causa efficiens. Ratio fiendi. Internal. Subjective. Free. 

(Aetiological) * External. Objective. Determined. 

Causa materialis. Ratio essendi. 

( Numero eadem. Unity. 
Identity. \ Arte ea dem. Similarity. 



It will be apparent in this tabular scheme that the 
general idea of "causality" is ambiguous, and in our use 
of it in this discussion we shall have occasion to employ it 
in the narrower sense as convertible with the notion of 
efficient or aetiological agency while the discussion of cer- 
tain problems will limit the material or ontological causal- 
ity to the principle of identity, one branch of it, with the 
principle of difference playing a minor role in the present 
question. But the main point is that philosophical or meta- 
physical problems are occupied with aetiological and onto- 
logical principles of explanation, the former concerned 
with the origin and the latter with the nature of phenom- 
ena. I shall not pursue these into their detailed forms. 
The reader may do this from the table. 

In the pursuit of "knowledge" we may not try to go 
beyond the phenomenal or nomological aspect of things 


and so may content ourselves with the uniformities of co- 
existence and sequence. Practical life may not demand 
more than this. But this depends on the question whether 
metaphysics may or may not involve "higher" practical 
questions than mere nomology. Whether it does or not, it 
is certain that there are mental interests transcending the 
mere laws of events and "knowledge" seeks realization in 
both aetiological and ontological facts. But as we have 
shown there are two separate problems here. The first is 
the acquisition of "knowledge" and the second is the com- 
munication of it. 

Now how do we acquire "knowledge"? The brief an- 
swer to this is that, in so far as it is systematization of ex- 
perience, we acquire it by the application of the principles 
of causality in their wider sense. When we see a fact or 
phenomenon, we either relate it or explain it, or both relate 
and explain it, assuming that "explain" here is convertible 
with assigning its efficient cause. In frequent use, "ex- 
planation" may be or is reference to a class, or even show- 
ing its law. But here I am using the term, at least for the 
moment, as the equivalent of assigning the cause. I ant 
never satisfied with the mere event by itself. I must con- 
nect it with something else to explain it, if I am to under- 
stand it. I relate it to its kind, its material cause, or I 
refer it to that which produces it, its active or efficient 
cause. Classification explains unity; causation explains 

In ascertaining how we acquire "knowledge," we come 
to the question as to what it is. This can be answered in 
two ways. ( i ) We may name and analyze the processes 
of it. This is epistemology and psychology. (2) We may 
examine the deposit in language which is the result of the 
process. We may have briefly to speak of both of these. 
For my purposes, sensation and judgments may constitute 
the psychological sources of "knowledge," one of them 


representing it as having a mental state and the other as 
asserting a fact or truth. Usually "knowledge" is con- 
vertible with certitude of conviction, whatever its source. 
Sensation and judgment represent the distinction between 
the given and the asserted. Sensation is experience; judg- 
ment is connecting experiences. Both may be "knowl- 
edge," but sensation is having a state of consciousness as 
the result of stimulus; judgment an act of relating a fact 
of experience, and represents usually the conception of 
"knowledge" which the philosopher has in mind. In ac- 
quiring knowledge you use both sensation and judgment; 
in communicating it, you can use judgment alone, and 
only one type of that. The sequel will show us this. 
"Knowledge" in sensation is presentative and has certitude 
of the immediate sort. But "knowledge" in judgment will 
have degrees of certitude to be determined by criteria which 
we do not need to discuss here. 

Let us, then, take up the problem of judgment and study 
it in the forms which it takes in language which represents 
the petrified forms of thought and may be made to reveal 
the processes implied. 

Sigwart has eight forms of judgment and for some 
purposes this or any other classification of judgments may 
be legitimate. But I reduce all of them to two types, which 
I call intensive and extensive judgments. Intensive judg- 
ments embody the connection between substance and attri- 
bute ; extensive judgments the relation between genus and 
species. "Snow is white" and "John struck James" are 
intensive judgments, the one static and the other dynamic. 
"Iron is a metal" is an extensive judgment. Every pos- 
sible form of judgment can be reduced to one or the other 
of these two types, and indeed each of the two is convertible 
into the other. For instance, "Iron is metallic" is the in- 
tensive form of the extensive judgment, "Iron is a metal." 
Extensive judgments embody the idea of causa materialis, 


of identity in affirmative and of difference in negative 
propositions. Intensive judgments embody the idea of 
causa emciens, objective and mechanical when phenomenal, 
and subjective or free when noumenal, the latter with some 
qualification in the use of the term "free." The principles 
here involved show how we think in the presence of a fact 
of experience, and illustrate how we explain the origin 
and the nature of facts. They are the basis of all acquisi- 
tion, whatever may be the basis of communication. 

"Knowledge" begins with sensation and perception, if 
we mean by it having a mental state, and if we give it no 
other meaning it stops there. Judgment is relating and 
assertory "knowledge." It unifies or classifies and explains 
or causifies facts of experience. We unify or classify by 
extensive judgments and explain or causify by intensive 
judgments. We acquire "knowledge" of fact by immediate 
perception or having it in consciousness, but we acquire 
relative "knowledge" by the two types of judgment, while 
we communicate it by only one of them, the extensive. Let 
us further examine the process of acquisition. 

A complex concept, that is, a synthesis of attributes, is 
the result of judgment and hence acts of judgment precede 
the use of terms in propositions. As the extensive judg- 
ment involves comparison of two or more facts or things, 
it is the later form to develop. The intensive judgment is 
the most primitive, though in its later form it involves 
complex concepts for the subject. It is based upon the 
aetiological principle. Being the most primitive form of 
mental action after sensation, the simplest illustration of it 
is the impersonal judgment. "It is warm," "It is cold," 
"It rains," "It is fine," etc., show the intensive judgment 
in its first and ultimate form. What we have is sensation, 
and we apply the category of causality, efficient or aetio- 
logical causality, to it in the indefinite form. The term 
"It" is merely the indication of a subject which we do not 


name or imply by any special property other than the one 
concerned in the present experience. The subject is the 
most general possible, and so far as knowledge is concerned 
may not have any property but the one in presentation. 
When we have found a synthesis of qualities we employ 
a name for them, and the property expressed in the predi- 
cate is a new one, or not necessarily implied by the name, 
at least until the additional property becomes an essential 
attribute of it. When we have found that the "It" is a 
complexus of other attributes than the one in immediate 
perception, our concept denotes that synthesis. For in- 
stance, "Apple," "Iron," "Tree" etc. Intensive judgments 
are involved in forming them and any future reference of 
a quality to this same subject or synthesis involves another 
intensive judgment. We are not comparing attributes or 
things in this process. We are referring events, phenom- 
ena, attributes, qualities etc., whether static or dynamic, 
to a subject in which they inhere. The principle of causal- 
ity, aetiological causality, is used to make the facts intelli- 
gible. We are superposing a category on a fact. In the 
impersonal judgment, this cause or ground is not named in 
terms of any other properties than the one in present ex- 
perience. In other forms of intensive judgment, the sub- 
ject represents a given synthesis already formed and the 
predicate is a quality on which we wish to lay stress. 

All this means that aetiological conceptions are prior 
to ontological ones in the process of "knowledge," ratio 
fiendi to ratio essendi. The result is that the acquisition 
of "knowledge" involves contact with facts of experience 
and offers the way to constructive processes, while com- 
munication involves nothing constructive for the mind 
that is imparting "knowledge." It is analytic and con- 
struction is synthetic. 

I would not object to expressing the facts in terms of 
phenomenal syntheses. That is, I am willing to put myself 


on the basis of pure empiricism, so far as the present con- 
tention is concerned. The synthesis may be merely a con- 
nection between phenomena, if you like, though I might 
reserve the right to raise the question whether subject and 
predicate involve the connection between phenomena at all. 
But conceding the empirical point of view, we should seem 
to dispense with the idea of causality or ground, or to make 
ic convertible with coexistences and sequences of events. 
This, however, would not alter the problem of acquiring 
"knowledge." It only evades or postpones the question 
whether there is causality or not. One thing, however, it 
does correctly enough. Construing "knowledge" as hav- 
ing a mental state, it evades the scepticism which attaches 
to the discussion of the validity of causality. But it does 
not alter the relation between subject and predicate in 
intensive judgments, which express ideas in terms of in- 

The main point, however, is that intensive judgment is 
the first in the order of "knowledge," as embodying the 
connection between substance and attribute, ground and 
property, or the primary idea of causality. The extensive 
judgment comes second. It absolutely requires two facts 
for the formation of an assertion. These facts must re- 
semble or differ in order to have the judgment formed. In 
the intensive judgment comparison does not enter, or is 
not a necessary part of it. In the extensive judgment this 
comparison is an absolutely essential condition. The syn- 
thesis of intensive judgments is that of the organic unity 
either of an attribute in a subject, definite or indefinite, or 
of several attributes in the same subject, unity in time and 
space, if phenomenal, and unity in time and space plus 
causality, if noumenal. Sameness of subject depends on 
the synthesis of qualities in the same time and space; dif- 
ferences of subjects depend on synthesis in different times 
and spaces. But the synthesis of extensive judgments 


depends on the unity of kind, identity or similarity, regard- 
less of time and space, and causality or ground may be 
disregarded, though actually present. Thus we establish 
greater unity of nature in the cosmos by the extensive 
judgment, and hence it simplifies the use of "knowledge." 

In the acquisition of "knowledge" by these processes we 
are in contact with facts of experience. The methods of 
observation, experiment, classification and explanation are 
employed and we may not be communicating truth at all. 
We are simply having sensations and perceptions of facts 
and superposing categories on them, or seeing them under 
these principles of "knowledge." In the intensive judgment 
we are superposing the idea of efficient causes on the facts 
and in extensive judgment superposing the idea of material 
causes on them. We are simply exercising aetiological and 
ontological categories in the processes of explaining and 
unifying experience. 

But when it comes to the communication of "knowl- 
edge," we can employ only material causes in the act of 
transmitting it. We may use intensive judgments as well 
as extensive ones, but we are social beings when we do 
it and are transmitting rather than acquiring information, 
and in spite of employing intensive judgments we must 
rely upon the identity of experience in others with our own 
to "communicate" at all. The individual can acquire 
"knowledge" by both processes, as indicated, but he can 
transfer it only by one of them and that is the principle of 
identity and difference or material causes. This is the 
reason that definition and ratiocination are so necessary. 
If we cannot reproduce identical experiences in the party 
to whom we wish to convey information, we must press 
our ideas into the mould of his experience. Without the 
facts of experience or the power to imagine them, the other 
party would not use the category of aetiological causes, 
but must rely on his experience to make communication 


intelligible. The slightest difference between them will 
frustrate the transfer. Causa efficiens, and perhaps the 
second branch of the causa material-is, cannot be used in 
communication. The individual in that case must have 
his own experience. Communication is only an economic 
device to save time and experience in education, and it 
does not wholly divest the subject of responsibility for his 
own experience and thinking. It is successful in proportion 
to the amount of personal experience. In fact this is the 
case in all instances, as experience is the primary condition 
of intelligent receptivity, and communication can occur 
only in the realm of abstract ideas, not in those of the con- 
crete. The receipt of concrete "knowledge" is a matter of 
individual experience and it cannot be transferred. This 
fact puts communication under greater limitations than 
acquisition. Communication is limited to the causa mate- 
rialis of things. 

The best proof of this is the fact that no syllogism can 
be constructed out of intensive judgments. There must 
be at least one extensive judgment in every syllogism, in 
order to secure a middle term, or identity of middle terms. 
The syllogism is to impart conviction or certitude and it 
can be done only by means of the principle of ontological 
causes, identity for affirmative judgments and difference 
lor negative judgments. No principle of aetiological causes 
can be employed in imparting this conviction. Only the 
individual can apply them to the facts of experience. We 
cannot make him see this. But by the principle of identity 
and difference, we may force him to see a conclusion, as it 
is expressed in the mould of his previous experience. The 
conclusion is but an instance of the belief he has in general 
and the certitude transmitted is in direct proportion to the 
certitude of his premises. The existence of causality, aeti- 
logical causality, cannot be imparted to him either by judg- 


ment or ratiocination. He must be able to see and apply 
this for himself. 

Now for the application of these general truths to the 
practical situation. 

The philosopher in most cases is not a scientific investi- 
gator. He is so generally a teacher, or transmitter, that 
he gets into the necessary habit of communicating "knowl- 
edge." He is not always in contact with concrete facts. 
He is always trying to make things intelligible to those 
of less information than himself, and even when he is a 
scientific inquirer, he is condemned to the use of material 
causes in his discussion and communication of truth. He 
has to make his information fit into the experience of others. 
He has always to employ ad hominem methods. He cannot 
always, if ever, use ad rem means in imparting truth. He 
must embody all his information in the principle of identity 
to transmit it, as is clearly proved by the instrument of 
language and the syllogism. If no language embodying 
this principle of identity exists, no communication is pos- 
sible. Even mimic art conforms to this and depends on 
the principle of identity for its effectiveness. But the habit 
and necessity of employing this principle of identity, 
whether in judgment or ratiocination and ratiocination 
is only a complexus of judgments create the tendency to 
interpret the world by this principle alone. The condition 
of communication is made the condition of "knowledge" 
throughout, though the fact is that causality, or causa 
efficient is far more fundamental than this and is prior to 
causa materialis in the problem of "knowledge." It insists 
on the presence of a correlate of phenomena because the 
fact of experience is this or an event, and implies this cor- 
relate. The mind may not be able to name this correlate in 
terms of experience, or sensation, though it does so in 
"phenomenal causation," which is merely coexistence and 
sequence, but it as inevitably thinks of this correlate or 


causal agent as it thinks of a fact of experience as an 
effect. Hence when at a loss for a term to express this 
cause in conceptions of phenomenal antecedent, it resorts 
to the indefinite or impersonal form of subject or substance, 
such as "It rains" or "This is sweet." It simplifies its 
conception of the situation by choosing the most skeleton- 
ized form of causality conceivable, not implying any other 
datum of experience or sensation than the one present. 
As this concept does not represent a datum of experience, 
sensory experience at least, it is not communicable, but 
must be realized in the mental action of the person asked 
to recognize the facts. That is why aetiological causality 
is always transcendental. It is not a communicable datum, 
while anything expressible in sense terms can be trans- 
mitted, because the principle of identity can be employed 
to express it. We may think in intensive judgments, but 
we must communicate in extensive ones. True, we also 
think in extensive judgments, but we cannot communicate 
in any other, and as the philosopher, in the function of a 
teacher, tends always to communicate information, his 
habit of mind, determined by the practice of definition and 
ratiocination, tends to make him try to solve the problem 
of knowledge by the causa materially without the causa 
efficienS; by ontological without aetiological causes. When 
he finds himself blocked or frustrated by the defects of de- 
finition and ratiocination, he imagines that there is no 
other principle involved in "knowledge" than that of iden- 
tity. He becomes sceptical of causality and assumes that 
acquisition is not different from communication. But when 
he cannot transmit information, the whole problem has to 
be left to the perceptions of the recipient. If the recipient 
lacks in the power of perception, the "knowledge" is not 
transmitted. We cannot prove the pons asinorum to an 
idiot. If the recipient has the mental experience or power 
of using his own judgment, we may facilitate his percep- 


tion of truth, but otherwise we are powerless. As already 
remarked, communication is but an economic device for sav- 
ing the expense of time and direct experience with concrete 
facts. It suggests what this experience would be by indi- 
cating its identity in some particular with the existing ex- 
perience of the recipient. 

Now let us apply this result to the main problem of 
philosophy; namely, the controversy between realism and 
idealism. Outside of this dispute there is perhaps little 
to engage controversy among philosophers, but at this fun- 
damental point they are always at odds and we seem to 
have made little or no progress since Plato. 

Naive realism is based upon or is usually represented 
as based upon the conception of some sort of identity be- 
tween experience and reality, between sensation and the 
external world. I say "some sort" of identity, because 
there are the rudiments of discussion and scepticism in 
the most naive realism. We generally express the situation 
by saying that the naive realist, who is the unsophisticated 
layman, assumes that he perceives things as they are, and 
that the idealist assumes that we do not perceive reality 
as it is or per se. The naive realist does not think of the 
antithesis between sensation and reality as the idealist 
does. To him things are as they appear. We see or per- 
ceive them. We do not create them. Cause and effect are 
like each other, or if that is debatable and not the correct 
way of stating the fact, the cause is identical in kind, 
more or less, with the appearance. That is, we naturally 
interpret reality by the principle of identity, because we 
have to disregard causality in communication of ideas about 
reality. But the moment that we discover any illusions in 
perception, we are perplexed. We find that the principle 
of identity as we are accustomed to employ it fails us, or 
fails to express the full meaning of things. We discover 
some sort of antithesis or difference between the subjective 


and objective. We can no longer communicate our "knowl- 
edge." The principle of difference has come into play and 
as that abstracts all that was assumed to represent the real, 
we are left without any criterion of "reality" as previously 
conceived and have to fall back upon efficient or aetiological 
causes for an explanation of the situation or positing the 
real, and this is incommunicable. This principle is not con- 
vertible with the facts which it explains. When classifica- 
tion will not tell what a thing is, we are either lost or fall 
back upon telling what it does, and this is an appeal to cau- 
sality to determine the nature of things, but that is not 

The whole problem is seen in all its complexity in illu- 
sions. Whatever will solve them will remove the per- 
plexities of the realist and the idealist. The philosopher 
is always looking for universal propositions or judgments 
that will be true without qualification, but illusions seem to 
disturb this ideal. They show variation from the normal. 
He wants to discover identity, whether differences exist 
or not, and he often finds it difficult to discover this identity 
where the differences are extremely marked. But the lay- 
man goes along without comparing judgments about the 
straight and crooked stick in the water, or those of normal 
vision and the image in the mirror, though he may feel as 
puzzled as the philosopher may be, because the layman is 
governed by pragmatic considerations. The layman is con- 
tent with the knowledge of the cause of the abnormality, and 
makes no attempt to reconcile the different appearances. 
For practical purposes he is correct, and these in the end 
may lead also to the philosophical explanation. But the 
philosopher wants to find the unity between two apparently 
contradictory phenomena. He discards the question of 
causality in the case and tries to solve the problem of illu- 
sion by that of identity alone, and this is not the correct 


standard, though it is the only means of communicating 
his ideas. 

For instance, the illusion about the image in the mirror 
is not about the existence of the object, but about its locus 
in space. Its existence is as fully guaranteed by the image 
in the mirror as if no mirror were there. The illusion 
concerns space, not objectivity. Causality enters into the 
explanation and the illusion is due to the attempt to apply 
identity where it is not applicable. It is much the same 
about the crooked stick in the water. Its objectivity is 
protected by causality and not by sensation. The mechan- 
ical conditions affect the specific sensation, but not the 
application of causality. Besides, we assume that "straight- 
ness" is a percept or concept of vision alone when it is not. 
Permanent "straightness" is a concept produced by the 
abstractions of several senses or at least two of them, and 
this abstraction may not involve any identity between the 
two percepts except the fact of permanence in normal con- 
ditions, and then, between the normal and abnormal con- 
ditions, the permanence of causality for like effects. The 
illusion is caused by the attempt to apply the principle of 
identity to the phenomena that are alike in all characters 
except the causal situation. 

It is the principle of causality, causa efficiens, that solves 
the problem. It does riot require identity of any kind be- 
tween subject and object, between appearance and reality, 
between antecedent and consequent, in order to satisfy the 
terms of the case, though that identity may actually be 
there, whether it be numero eadem or arte eadem. We too 
hastily assume that illusion implies non-reality in the object 
of consciousness, when the situation is complicated with 
inferences and abnormal conditions. The stimulus is there, 
but it does not require to be what the naive realist assumes, 
though he may be nearer right than the idealist. The ideal- 
ist assumes a difference between cause and effect which the 


realist may not do. At any rate the philosopher is in- 
fluenced by naive realism long after he has given it up, 
because its point of view is necessary for the communication 
of "knowledge," though not for the possession of it. Hallu- 
cinations are the best illustration of what I mean. They 
are always represented as indicating an apparent reality, 
whose "real" existence we deny. But there are two things 
to be noted here. Hallucinations have stimuli just as well 
as normal sensations have. This is a universally recog- 
nized fact, but the stimuli are not normal ones. They are 
secondary, not primary, but they illustrate the law of cans? 
efficient, but not causa materialis, as applied by the naive 
realist to normal sense-perception. 

In the second place, it is impossible to affirm the exist- 
ence of illusions and hallucinations unless we assume a 
reality as the criterion of them. An illusion has no mean- 
ing apart from our "knowledge" of the truth. Lotze well 
expresses this in the following language. "Die psycho- 
logische Entstehungsweise eines Irrthums schliesst den 
Beweis, dass er ein Irrthum sei, immer erst dann ein, wenn 
man die Wahrheit schon kennt, von der die Bedingungen 
seiner Entstehung nothwendig ablenken mussten." 

Hegel, I believe, it was who said that we cannot criti- 
cize the faculty of knowledge and this was synonymous 
with the dictum of Lotze. Error implies knowledge of 
the truth as a condition of discovering the error. Illusion 
exists only because we insist upon applying the principle 
of identity where it is not applicable as we conceive it. 
We make the conditions of communication convertible 
with those of acquisition, when they are only partly so. 
Causality holds good after identity has been disqualified. 
This is unmistakably true in the case of supersensible 
causes, even though we regard them as hypothetical and 
though we may later discover elements of identity in them 
with the sensible. The man who sets up atoms, molecules, 


ions, electrons, ether, corpuscles, etc., as conditions of phe- 
nomena is not appealing to the law of identity as revealed 
in sense-perception for his explanations, but to some super- 
sensible reality beyond sense, and he must either abandon 
his hypothesis of such things or accept the law of causality 
as primary and as not always convertible with that of iden- 
tity as exemplified in sense-perception, which is the con- 
dition of communication, but not the only condition of 

But the philosopher, as a teacher, is always trying to 
communicate "knowledge" to facilitate the student's learn- 
ing, to save time in his contact with experience, and in this 
process he comes to regard as untenable all that will not 
subscribe to the law of identity. This may be true for 
proof, but not for perception or acquisition. A little re- 
flection will show that no "knowledge" is really trans- 
mitted, but that this idea of "communication" is a euphem- 
ism for economy in the employment of observation and 
experiment. But we may retain the term for that concep- 
tion while the actual fact is that no man can acquire knowl- 
edge except by his own activity. The communication of 
"knowledge" is but the pressing of our ideas into the 
moulds of another's experience and shortens or saves effort 
to acquire by personal experience and contact with the 
facts. In this transmission we can use only the barest out- 
line of the facts and the individual receiver must supply 
the full contents himself. Only the abstract can be trans- 
mitted. The concrete must be experienced. 

Now causality of the aetiological type is always tran- 
scendental; identity or causa materialis, ontological cause, 
is not. Cause is other than the fact to be explained by it, 
whether numero diversa or arte diversa, or independent 
and transcendental in time and space when phenomenal, 
and different or immanental when noumenal. Its ultimate 
conception is immanental and so coexistent with phenom- 


ena, as is shown by the fact that substance is the primary 
criterion of it, and the ordinary representation of it in 
terms of antecedence and consequence, is only the evidence, 
the ratio cognoscendi, of causality, not its ratio essendi. 
You can transmit "knowledge" about causality only when 
it expresses itself in antecedence and sequence, and this 
can be done only in sensory data. Hence it functions only 
as the ratio cognoscendi of cause, not its ratio essendi. 
This is precisely the reason that true causality cannot be 
communicated by the facts which make it necessary. The 
individual must supply this "knowledge" by his own in- 
sight or ability to see it, or to posit it, if "see" is equivocal. 
This broad principle holds good of all appreciation of truth, 
but in matters of causality the insight cannot be trans- 
mitted or supplied when the abstraction of the facts can be 
transmitted, and this because the abstract can be expressed 
in the forms of identity. Only when the actual cause is 
"phenomenal" can it be communicated and then only as a 
phenomenon, not as a cause. The causal factor is con- 
cealed from sense and must be realized by the perceptive 
insight of the subject obtaining the "knowledge." The 
scientific man never looks for the cause in the phenomenon 
or event itself. He goes "outside" of this, even though he 
does not transcend time and space for it. The cause may 
be like the effect in kind, but it is other than the event. It 
may differ in kind, even if it does not differ in time and 
space. But being transcendent, causality, the aetiological 
type, is never an object of sense-perception. Time and 
space are the principles of individuation, but not of causal- 
ity in its aetiological aspects. This is the reason that we 
cannot make causality and identity convertible, though in 
the final solution of our problem we may always find them 
associated. But being transcendent the causa efficient is 
never an object of sense-perception; identity may be such 
an object and certainly is such in most instances. Hence 


the communication of "knowledge" will always depend on 
the ability to appeal to sensory experience. Causal "knowl- 
edge," aetiological "knowledge," will not take that form 
and so must depend on the insight of the subject of ex- 

Now if we apply the principle to the perception of 
reality we shall dsicover the illusions of many thinkers and 
perhaps we shall run upon the close relation between aetio- 
logical and ontological influences in "knowledge," and at 
the same time the difficulties between acquisition and the 
communication of it. 

When Democritus began a theory of the perception of 
objects by his doctrine of idola he did not think of idealism 
as the outcome and assumed both the principle of identity 
as his means of explanation and the sensation of touch as 
the standard. He said we perceived objects by the idola, 
or simulacra of the reality seen, thrown off from the ob- 
jects. He could not conceive of perception without the idea 
of contact and the principle of identity between cause and 
effect. But later thinkers substituted motion, and then 
luminous undulations when it was found that light was 
undulatory, to account for the phenomena. But here the 
principle of identity was abandoned and idealism began its 
career. Most people still assumed that touch or contact 
was necessary for perception of objects, whether tactual 
or visual, and may have squinted toward the same idea in 
hearing. But here the puzzle for naive realism began. 
Undulations were not the object and yet a necessary inter- 
mediary in perceiving it. When Berkeley came to the prob- 
lem he too assumed that contact was the condition of per- 
ception as well as of sensation and also some sort of identity 
between sensation and the real. He could not conceive 
that an object could be perceived at a distance when dis- 
tance or the third dimension was not in the sensation. He 
was consciously or unconsciously governed by the principle 


of causa materialis in his conception and explanation of 
perception. Hamilton came nearer a solution, but did 
not live to clear up completely his analysis which he based 
upon the principle of identity, though he was dimly aware 
that it was not the fundamental criterion of reality. In 
any case he did not solve it. He too did not see that per- 
ception might defy the doctrine of identity and yet be valid 
;md that causality, aetiological causality, might satisfy the 
problem while we waited for further investigation to adjust 
ontological causality to it. As long as identity is assumed 
to be the prior criterion of reality, it will give trouble in the 
problem of perception. If illusions had not occurred, the 
problem might never have arisen. But whatever illusion 
did to create perplexity, the discovery of mechanical and 
physical conditions affecting the perception of objectivity 
greatly complicated it. We have gotten away from the 
naive view of Democritus, but we have not wholly divested 
ourselves of the assumptions that governed him and sub- 
sequent thinkers. The moment that we got rid of idola to 
explain it, we simply set up a more perplexing intervention 
in the undulations of light. This perplexity, of course, 
arose from our failure to emphasize aetiological principles 
as a satisfactory solution of the problem and that percep- 
tion might not require contact to determine its validity. 
The undulations of light were supposed to be different from 
the object and yet to condition the perception of it. Only 
idealism cut the Gordian knot here and thought of the 
object as subjective in its nature. That is, it was sensation 
which we perceived and not the object per se, if there was 
an object per se. It still clung to the assumption that to 
be seen must be contact with the sensorium. That is, in 
Berkeleyan parlance, esse is percipi, whatever that may 
mean. But the illusion came from supposing that sensation 
and perception were the same thing. They are simultane- 
ous, but are functionally different, and this cannot be 


made clear by the law of identity. But if we once see that 
contact may not be necessary for perception, we shall not 
be so much influenced by the law of causa materialis in our 
explanation of perception. 

The idealistic theory depends on two assumptions. ( I ) 
That contact and therefore some kind of identity between 
sensation and object is necessary for perception. (2) That 
undulations are the cause of the sensation and are them- 
selves different from the object and the sensation. In the 
first place the undulatory theory is hypothetical and with 
it the difference assumed between "physical light" and 
"psychological light." The corpuscular theory may modify 
this. But we have to proceed with the undulatory hypoth- 
esis. The idealistic theory assumes that the sensation can 
be called light because there must be some identity between 
the sensation and the thing "known." This enables it to 
eliminate the object as non-existent or as "unknown." The 
assumed difference between the undulations of light and 
the assumed object of naive realism helps it in this view. 
But it never satisfies us with its assumption that we can 
"know" these undulations and yet that we cannot "know" 
the object. The whole problem of perception and "knowl- 
edge" is involved in the doctrine of undulations quite as 
much as in that of external reality or matter. If you can- 
not trust perception in the one, you cannot in the other. The 
fact is that, viewed from the analogies of touch, vision 
gives no sensation at all. The very existence of visual 
sensation is an inference, when adjudged by the principle 
of contact. It is the object we "know" or perceive, and 
neither the sensation nor the undulations of light. The 
only common element between touch and vision as sensa- 
tions is the reaction against stimulus and that relation is 
no part of the "sensation" as such. The object is no part 
of the sensation and the perception of the object is not 
dependent upon any identity between what is in the sensa- 


tion and what is in the object, though some identity may 
be found by further analysis of the problem. Let us see 
if this can be done. 

I have said that the puzzle for most people lies in the 
fact that we are supposed to perceive objects in spite of the 
fact that the immediate stimulus is either no part of the 
sensation or has no resemblance to either the sensation or 
the object, the mental state or the cause. Let us see, how- 
ever, just what the facts of nature are. 

In ordinary photography we have undulations, accor- 
ding to the hypothesis, assumed to be wholly different from 
the object from which they emanate, passing to the plate 
of the camera and forming or producing an image there. 
The result is to produce an image so exactly similar to the 
object in certain essential characteristics as to be perfectly 
recognizable in comparison with the reality. A man can 
be recognized from his picture, though he had never been 
seen before. The undulations are not like the object and 
are not like the image, and yet the image is like the object. 
This is more true in color photography where the actual 
colors of the object are transferred to the image on the 
plate. On a larger scale the law of color adaptation in 
nature illustrates the same law. The cause transfers its 
characteristics to the animal it affects. Cause and effect 
have certain identical characteristics in all these phenom- 

Now if nature establishes a law of similarity between 
subject and object, between cause and effect, between ob- 
ject and image by which we perceive the object, may not 
perception bridge the chasm as easily as nature does that 
between object and image in the camera? Why may not 
nature provide a means of adjusting perception to the situa- 
tion as well as the identity between object and image in 
spite of a causal intermediary unlike both of them ? Why 
should I interpret perception after mechanical analogies? 


If I trust perception or hypothesis in asserting the nature 
of undulations, why may I not trust it when it affirms 
reality in spite of the real or apparent antithesis between 
sensation and the object, or the difference between undula- 
tions and both of them ? 

That is to say that perception does not depend on iden- 
tity between object and sensation and may be correct when 
they are antithetic to each other. The identity may be 
there, but it is not the identity that determines the percep- 
tion and its validity. Its judgment about the nature of re- 
ality or the object may easily be as valid as that about the 
undulations and their relation to both object and image. 
In this, too, we may find a way to recognize a place for 
causa material** in the problem of perception, though not 
allowing it to take the place of causa efficiens. It is mani- 
fest in the phenomena of photography and color adaptation, 
so that the analogy of these with the phenomena of visual 
perception may suggest conceptions that will help to solve 
the problem at this point and to resolve the illusions that 
center about the acquisition and communication of "knowl- 
edge," on the one hand, and about logical and descriptive 
definitions, on the other. We try too hard to communicate 
"knowledge" instead of making the recipient do his own 
thinking by coming into direct contact with facts. We 
abstract from conditions under which abnormal phenom- 
ena occur and then seek a unity where there is none and 
where we need none. In other words, we substitute ratio- 
cination for perception and assume too readily that "knowl- 
edge" can be transmitted without the employment of the 
functions of acquisition. The latter require the individual 
to do his own work while communication can only instigate, 
not produce. Perception is an individual function, ratio- 
cination a social one. Scepticism and criticism, important 
as they are, may easily develop into intellectual paralysis. 
The individual must exercise his own power of insight. 


His perplexities in the face of illusions may be respected, 
but contact with facts will dispel them. They are largely 
cf his own creation, as were the paradoxes of Zeno and the 
puzzles of the Sophists and the New Academy. A little 
more than superficial analysis and criticism will find the 
way out of the labyrinth. It was the hopeless entangle- 
ment of formal logic, important in its place, that led Pro- 
fessor James into pragmatism. He, like Herbert Spencer, 
found the solution in contact with facts, or the priority of 
science. It was Spencer's absurd juggling with the Un- 
knowable that fascinated logic choppers who never dis- 
covered the illusions and equivocations that perplexed the 
case while his knowable was a perpetual source of charm 
and interest. It is the concrete, and not the abstract that 
solves problems. If philosophy, then, can do its thinking 
in the processes of acquisition and confine its critical meth- 
ods to the communication of "knowledge" it may hope to 
escape .the "ego-centric predicament," reduce abstractions 
to their place, and find that it can have as much confidence 
in perception as in ratiocination. 



WE are taught by social and by organic evolution alike 
that the development both of species and of societies 
does not always take place at the same rate, but is effected 
rather by an alternation of periods of stagnation or semi- 
stagnation during which the evolutive process is very 
slowly unfolded, with other periods in which the rhythm 
receives almost unprecedented acceleration. This occurs 
when the gradual accomplishment of events brings about 
such a contrast between the being which is evolved and 
the environment in which it has to live that a new and very 
rapid adaptation is necessary if an inevitable catastrophe 
is to be avoided. The nations of Europe, and particularly 
those of the Entente, are passing through such an experi- 
ence, for, even if they emerge completely victorious from 
the armed conflict with Germany, they none the less run the 
danger of collapse in the world-wide economic struggle in 
the after-war period, if they are not re-organized so as to 
adapt themselves to that profound and radical change in 
the environment which has been gradually taking place, 
and which has arisen from the existence of such a competi- 
tor as the German Empire, dominated by its ideal of a 
hegemony, and in possession of all the psychical, econom- 
ical and technical elements that are necessary for the ac- 
complishment of its aims. 

Renovation, in the case of a nation, does not so much 
imply a change in the aspect of its external institutions, 


as a moral and intellectual re-modeling upon new lines of 
all those members upon which depend its institutions, its 
economic life, and its social progress. 

This has been instinctively realized by all the nations 
of the Entente, and they have set to work, anxiously, if 
one may say so, as if they felt their very existence threat- 
ened to examine their educational systems, and to study 
those introduced by Germany, in order to discover where 
their own are defective, and where those of their rival are 
worthy of imitation. 

This examination has merely confirmed the suspicion 
that no mysterious secret, no wonderful pedagogic discov- 
ery is to be found in the German systems, with perhaps a 
single exception, that they succeed better than ours in 
providing the community at large (and not a small minor- 
ity belonging to the higher classes, but the mass of the 
people) with that valuable body of concrete knowledge, 
that elasticity of adaptation to the environment, that capac- 
ity for transforming the latter into a shape appropriate 
to its own ends, which in the struggle for existence have 
always been considered the very certainty of success. 

Let us then examine in the first place whether our own 
systems are the best suited to effect that continual contact 
with the greatest possible number of different objects or 
facts in the external world, and to develop the spirit of 
observation which alone can furnish the child with that 
vast aggregate of knowledge of its environment which 
constitutes the basis indispensable both to its adaptation 
to that environment, and to its ability to effect a further 
transformation of it in accordance with needs. 

For that purpose we have from the earliest awakening 
of the child a valuable auxiliary in its innate curiosity. 
The observation of everything that comes before its eyes 
should not give rise to fatigue, especially if it is made a 
matter of play by the wise use of its toys. The Germans 


in their toys have done wonders in the faithful reproduction 
in miniature of all that can be reproduced of the external 
world. They have been no less successful in dealing with 
the side of that world spontaneously presented to us by 
nature, and with the technical side gradually brought into 
being by the industry of man. In every other country this 
magnificent opportunity has been neglected. We have, in- 
deed, often allowed our toys to give us a false idea of 
reality. For instance, the little tin engines which delight 
our children are set going by the winding up of a spring. 
But the German locomotive has its little boiler, and its 
little spirit-lamp, and thus the child itself makes the steam, 
and it is the steam which moves the piston in toy and real 
machine alike. Thus the child, by that spontaneous curios- 
ity which leads it to endeavor to understand the working 
of the little mechanism, acquires without an effort some- 
thing of that mental habit, that instinct of the engineer, 
which will later stand him in good stead when he enters 
the technical school or the polytechnic, into which too many 
of our children are pitchforked without ever having been 
near a machine. I am not referring to all those wonderful 
toys which, because they are so cheap, are more and more 
within the reach not only of the wealthy but of all classes 
of the community: railway stations, factories, stables, 
farms, etc., completely fitted up and suitable for giving an 
exact idea of the agricultural and industrial environment 
in which the man of the future at a later period will have 
to exercise his activity, whatever his condition in life may 
be; kitchens and rooms, all complete and presenting to the 
child very object required in a well-managed household; 
Noah's Arks, with faithful reproductions of the various 
types of animals; miniature botanical gardens with their 
trees and plants; and so on. Unfortunately we are still 
very far from this ideal in which the toy is a faithful repro- 
duction in miniature of the external environment, both 


natural and technical, the ideal by which the environment 
which the child will be called upon some day to dominate 
and to transform is made part and parcel of its mental 

Our infant and elementary schools are not successful 
in this exercise of the spirit of observation, and in the 
bringing of the mind into contact with reality. With those 
rare exceptions in which the Montessori system has been 
applied with success, these schools seem to place every 
imaginable stumbling-block in the way of furnishing the 
child with the slightest experience of the world and of life. 
The school itself is too often a bare and empty room, con- 
taining nothing but forms and desks. It should be first 
and foremost a rich and varied museum. The teaching, 
instead of consisting of lessons on things, is purely verbal. 
Reading and writing, instead of being taught as a means 
of acquiring the experience of others, and of communi- 
cating to others our own experiences, becomes an end in 
itself. At far too early a period grammar is made to 
exercise a wicked strain on the infant intelligence, and 
checks at its very birth the vital impulse of the child mind 
a mind that is eager to know everything. As far as life is 
concerned, the essential utility of the memory consists in 
the power it gives of storing up in the mind the recollection 
of the experiences we have lived through, or the experi- 
ences of our fellows. Thus the memory of the child should 
be exercised by encouraging him to recall and to relate to 
accurate terms what he has seen and noticed during the 
past few days. Instead of this, he is wearied out by oral 
repetition of passages of insipid poetry, exercises in me- 
chanical recitation, which are all the more irksome to the 
pupil because, wiser than his master, he sees no object in 
them. And to crown all, there are the essays, in which the 
poor child has to make bricks without straw. Surely the 
mere written description, carefully drawn up in consecutive 


order, of concrete objects which have interested him, or 
may have been placed before him with the purpose of inter- 
esting him, would have the twofold effect of exercising his 
powers of observation, and of training him in that clear, 
accurate and systematic expression which is all that should 
be expected in compositions from children in either ele- 
mentary or secondary schools. 

Drawing from nature and geometrical drawing are 
either completely neglected or are taught by old and de- 
fective methods, in spite of the fact that again and again 
it has been insisted that they are useful, in the one case 
as giving a knowledge of the fundamental geometrical 
properties of objects, and in the other as cultivating the 
power of observation. The same may be said of manual 
work, which has rightly been claimed as invaluable in de- 
veloping the faculty of observation, in bringing to light 
the fundamental physical properties of matter, and in giv- 
ing to man that sense of power over matter and the forces 
of nature which raises him morally and strengthens his will 
and energy in action. 

In all cases the mere knowledge of facts, the mere ex- 
perience that comes from ourselves or our fellows, is not in 
itself enough to produce an adaptation to the environment, 
or, to put it better, to give us the power of adapting the 
environment to ourselves, our needs and our ends. What 
really makes us masters of nature is reason, because it is 
only by means of reason that we are able to determine 
what results will follow this act or that ; reason points out 
to us the path by which the desired result will be achieved ; 
in a word, it is reason that gives us the power to foresee 
and serves as a guide to all our actions. Now in our 
schools, and especially in our secondary schools where this 
faculty should be more particularly cultivated, an infinite 
number of opportunities of developing it are neglected, and 
in certain cases one might even assert that the object of 


instruction seems rather to destroy than to develop the 
precious faculty that Mother Nature, wiser than the school, 
has given us. 

It is true that mathematics are excellent as a gymnastic 
for this faculty of reasoning, but mathematics are not 
enough. This subject degenerates, especially after the in- 
tuitional period of instruction has passed, into a purely 
mechanical exercise, especially for those pupils who have 
no genuine aptitude for the subject. Take for example the 
case of the schoolboy who in his final examination did all 
his calculations correctly, but was at a loss to explain the 
tiresome ji which came into nearly every formula he used ! 
In any case, as mathematics are usually taught, they de- 
velop but one side of the reasoning faculty, the deductive, 
while they tend rather to dry up the synthetic or intuitive 
side, by means of which we are able to see analogies be- 
tween certain phenomena which at the first glance may 
seem to be quite dissimilar, and thereby to extend to quite 
a new category of phenomena what we already know from 
another category which is more familiar to us. Besides, 
mathematics, either because they are too mechanical, or be- 
cause of the over-development they produce on the deduc- 
tive side, tend rather to atrophy what Pascal called I' esprit 
de finesse, which is so necessary to men of business and to 
men of action in general, and which, thanks to the synthetic 
view it gives us of a complicated aggregate of circum- 
stances, consists in the faculty of forming for oneself an 
accurate idea of the relative importance of the different 
factors or phenomena which combine to produce a whole. 
Charles Darwin, who himself confessed his aversion from 
mathematics, shows us nevertheless in his masterly works 
that he possesses this synthetic faculty, and that in vigor 
of thought he is inferior to none of the most eminent math- 

The natural sciences could lend themselves wonderfully 


to the development of this reasoning faculty, and to its 
development on the deductive or analytical side as well 
as on the intuitive or synthetic side. But we know only 
too well how, with the rarest exceptions, they are taught in 
most schools. In the first place the greatest care seems to 
be taken to keep out of sight of the student the objects with 
which he should be closely familiar. Instead of the objects 
themselves, he is given long and minute verbal descriptions 
which cannot give him the least idea of what the objects 
are. He is compelled to learn by heart that a stork has a 
long bill and long legs, although he has never seen even 
a stuffed specimen of that fowl. Time is wasted over classi- 
fications and sub-classifications, and woe to the unfortunate 
examinee who cannot repeat like a parrot the species and 
the genus of birds to which the stork belongs ! This is no 
exercise for the reasoning powers or for the spirit of ob- 
servation. And yet, the doctrine of evolution, set forth 
as the nucleus of all the natural sciences, accompanied by 
concrete presentation, or by very clear images of the dif- 
ferent species and of their environment, would explain the 
genesis of the most fundamental peculiarities of the struc- 
ture of animal and vegetable organisms, and would thus 
keep the reasoning faculty constantly at work. Instead of 
allowing the instinctive mental inertia of the child full play 
while he is receiving and storing up in his memory the 
master's verbal statements as to the morphological char- 
acteristics of the different species, the pupil should be stead- 
ily induced to find out for himself the why and the where- 
fore of certain characteristics presented by certain organ- 
isms compelled to live and move in a stated environment. He 
would thus acquire a synthetic vision combined with an 
intimate knowledge of the organic world about him, and at 
the same time he would find in his hand the precious thread 
of Ariadne which will in the future guide him in all the 


transformations which he may find it useful or necessary 
to effect in his zoological or botanical environment. 

The branch of the natural sciences which comprises 
notions of the structure, the functioning, and the physio- 
logical and physical hygiene of our organism must in future 
have a much more important place in our system than it 
holds at present. Of themselves these ideas would con- 
stitute a solid basis for individual positive morality, and 
from the social point of view would eventually secure to 
the nation the maximum return from its potential energies, 
and would in particular prevent the early decadence or 
premature destruction of those energies. 

Geography based on the naming of capes and bays, of 
latitudes and longitudes, also fails in its object, which 
should be that of giving to man a knowledge of the phys- 
ical, economical, and social environment in which it is his 
lot to live. Nor does it assist the development of the rea- 
soning faculty either on the deductive or on the intuitive 
side. And yet no other subject can equip the future homo 
oeconomicus, the worker in the fields or in the factories, 
the clerk or the emigrant, with information more indis- 
pensable to the different activities which some day he may 
be called upon to exercise. Nor is there any other subject 
of study which can more effectively induce him to compare 
the civilizations and institutions of other lands with those 
of his own country, and so give him in his political duties 
as citizen both inspiration and impulse to the reform and 
betterment of the social environment of which he forms a 
part. And finally there is no other science which lends 
itself more to the development of his reasoning powers. 
But if this is to be secured the teaching must not be purely 
informative in character. As Irving Elgard Miller, the 
well-known American teacher and psychologist, maintains, 
we must proceed by continual questions, e. g. : Why is the 
climate of England warmer than that of Labrador ? Why 


are the countries to the east of the Rocky Mountains 
arid ? Why have the United States spent so much money 
and energy in cutting through the Isthmus of Panama? 
What are the conditions which have made New York, 
Chicago, and St. Louis such important towns ?, and so on. 
The same may be said of history based on dates, names 
of kings and battles, and isolated events, all of which teach 
us nothing of the present moment in history, which alone 
is of interest to us in completing our knowledge of the en- 
vironment in which we live. From any one single histor- 
ical fact of the past, pure and simple, we can draw no con- 
clusion that will throw light on the facts of the present. 
It has been said that man, with reference to his historical 
environment, is like a traveler who has lost his way in the 
forest, and who, while he can see the individual trees, is 
nevertheless incapable of forming such a general and syn- 
thetic view of the forest itself, as alone will enable him to 
find out unaided the direction he must take. Now history, 
if taught so as to illustrate in its general lines, and at the 
same time in its deeply-rooted causes, the complicated de- 
velopment of historical facts, and thereby making possible 
a comparison of general historical situations in the past 
with those of a similar generality in the present, would 
then really fulfil the highly important task of facilitating 
the adequate and complex comprehension of our historical 
environment which, I again assert, is the only one which 
concerns us. At the same time such teaching would lead 
to a better comprehension of the resisting power of certain 
traditions and the prestige of certain institutions, even 
after the object of their existence has passed away, and the 
direction of certain evolutive tendencies, which in their 
aggregate are so many important factors in the complex 
play of the social forces which make history. And finally, 
such teaching no less than the teaching of geography, 
would lead to the continual exercise of practical reasoning, 


and would develop the political sense of the future citizen. 
Questions and problems such as the following would suffice 
from this point of view : Why did Richelieu in these circum- 
stances or those act in this way or that? In consequence 
of what conflict between parties or interests did this or that 
legislative or constituent assembly arrive at this or that 
decision? What complex historical situation made Napo- 
leon's coup-d'etat successful?, and so on. 

To geography and history must be added with even 
wider developments the teaching of economic, juridical and 
administrative science. Not only will this give information 
that is essential as to the environment in which man must 
work, earn his livelihood, assert his rights and develop his 
activity as a citizen, but it will also, by the very questions 
that are raised and by his efforts at their solution, lead the 
student to reflect, and will form in him the habit of that 
accurate evaluation and appreciation of things which is so 
important a factor of success in life. The mere setting 
forth of these subjects, and of law in particular, by showing 
the student the conditions that are necessary for the main- 
tenance and progress of society, would at the same time 
be a training in what we may call social hygiene, and 
therefore in that positive social morality which would be 
the natural complement of the positive individual morality 
already based on the hygiene of the organism. 

But the development of the reasoning faculty in its two- 
fold aspect of the analytical and the synthetic is not suffi- 
cient. The student must in the first place be supplied with 
the direct and tangible proof of the great domination over 
matter and the forces of nature which is furnished by the 
concrete knowledge of external facts, and by reasoning 
based on them; and he must further be trained in the un- 
ceasing application of that concrete knowledge and in the 
use of his reasoning faculty in such a way as to become 
accustomed to making them the infallible guide and cri- 


terion of all his actions. This lofty function of education 
is fulfilled by nothing more effectively than by the teaching 
of chemistry and physics, throughout accompanied by that 
work in the laboratory which should be possible in every 
secondary school. By its direct action on matter and the 
forces of nature, by the constant overcoming of the diffi- 
culties which beset the path of all experiment, and which 
are overcome by reflection alone, by investigation under 
the impulse of the eagerness to discover why this or that 
experimental result is not what was expected by all these 
means will the adolescent find that his powers of observa- 
tion and his reasoning faculty are being refined. At the 
same time the will and the resolution to attain the desired 
end will be strengthened, and the result will be to realize 
in one and the same individual the happy union of the man 
of action and the man of thought. 

If the subjects we have mentioned aim at the intellectual 
cognitive development properly so called, the teaching of 
literature must not only develop and enrich the creative 
fancy of the student, an inestimable possession in all the 
really new contingencies of life, but it must also have 
a highly educative end, the endowment of the youthful 
mind with lofty moral sentiments, sentiments which are as 
necessary for the well-being as for the progress of the 

If the objects to be attained by the teaching of litera- 
ture are those I have indicated, here then is the unquestion- 
able opportunity of banishing the dead languages from 
our secondary schools, except of course in the case of 
students who are destined for literature and for the law. 

The old question of the utility of the dead languages 
is not an absolute but a relative question. The question is : 
Shall they usurp the place of other and more useful sub- 
jects ? In this form it admits of but one answer. It is idle 
to assert that Latin and Greek afford an incomparable in- 


tellectual gymnastic, for the modern languages and the 
subjects already dealt with are even better fitted to achieve 
that end. Nor can it be claimed that the dead languages fur- 
nish the young with ideas which are useful in modern life. 
On the contrary, it has with as much reason been asserted 
that the study of the classics unfits men for practical life, 
and detaches them from the prosaic occupations to which 
they must some day devote themselves. Nor can it fairly 
be said, since they speak to us from a distant past, that 
they can inspire us with sentiments in harmony with the 
tendencies and aspirations of modern times. And finally, 
a knowledge of the classics can no longer be claimed as the 
sole means of knowing the masterpieces of antiquity, for 
as every one knows, most schoolboys never acquire such a 
knowledge of Latin and Greek as will enable them to taste 
the beauties of those masterpieces ; and if they know them 
at all, it is by the means of good translations. 

If Latin is absolutely essential to the future students 
of law, and if Latin and Greek are essential, as they un- 
doubtedly are, to the future students of literature (we do 
not agree that they are necessary to the students of medi- 
cine and the natural sciences, in spite of the few Latin and 
Greek roots in their technical terminology) they can al- 
ways be taught in a special section. They must be taken 
in extra hours, without encroaching on the time required 
for the other subjects (and if this supplementary work 
were to prevent a few young folk from taking up the legal 
profession, there are few who will question the advantage 
to society). Or again, the time allotted to the practical 
work of the laboratory may be omitted by the future stu- 
dents of literature and the law, and given to instruction in 
the classics. 

As for instruction in literature, properly so called, i. e., 
the knowledge and study of the principal literary master- 
pieces, ancient and modern, of each country in turn, in the 


original text or in good translations its principal object, 
I repeat, should be the development of the creative faculty 
of the fancy, bold and unfettered, without which even the 
most powerful intellect is but a machine, and at the same 
time to give every young student an ethical preparation 
for the exigencies of civic life and social progress, to in- 
spire him with lofty civic sentiments and to make him an 
upright, noble and generous soul. It is precisely with this 
object in view that we can and should count on the pro- 
foundly emotional and irresistibly suggestive influence that 
no really classic work in literature ever fails to exercise. 
Thus the time devoted to literature would be for the pupil 
a period of rest and gracious respite from the continual 
strain of the powers of observation and reflection he would 
be compelled to exercise in the other subjects of a scientific 
character. Literature, and if required, the history of art, 
would thus really transport the young mind into an atmos- 
phere full of life, full of fancy, of free inspiration, of noble 
and lofty sentiments ; and his impulse toward the pure skies 
of the ideal would be spontaneous and vigorous in pro- 
portion to the mental constraint of the hours devoted to 
the other subjects. 

As for the teaching of philosophy, the present course 
must be recast completely and with the utmost care. I 
would go so far as to say with the most anxious care, for, 
unfortunately, philosophy as it is taught in our schools, 
with an insidious metaphysics for its basis, a metaphysics 
more dangerous than if it were openly declared, seems to 
have the Mephistophelian function of disturbing and ob- 
scuring that lucidity of ideas, that reasoning based on 
sound sense, that upright and healthy judgment which are 
innate in the normal man. Teaching of the subject could 
be given, on a reduced scale, in the literature hours, as the 
history of philosophy, and then only if it is considered good 
for the development of the fancy of the student to know 


something of those nebulous poems in which the great 
metaphysical constructions of the past consist. As a dis- 
cipline in itself, the course should be transformed, partly 
into one of scientific synthesis, and partly into one of the 
analysis of the human mind and the history of science, 
so that the student may acquire that wide and general view 
which makes him conscious of the illimitable power of 
which the human intellect is capable, provided that it con- 
tinues to exercise his activity in the direction imposed upon 
it by its very nature. 

But, the benevolent reader will say, all this has been dis- 
cussed over and over again. That is perfectly true. But 
many of these questions must be opened up anew, and not 
only these, but also those of professional training and of 
higher education upon which I have not here touched. 
They are questions which must be re-examined with a 
fresh mind, and in the light of the harvest of facts revealed 
to us by the great war. Questions once regarded as of 
merely academic interest, have now become problems of 
vital importance. Action is necessary on the part of those 
who realize the terrible dilemma by which we are faced: 
There must be reform, or we perish. Safety lies alone in 
continuous, unwearying effort; no detail in the teaching 
of to-day must be neglected, no fact in the life of the 
school must escape examination. Every question in con- 
nection with the training of the new generations must be 
re-opened and thoroughly discussed. The real aims of 
education must be subjected to the closest scrutiny; the 
courses of the schools must be overhauled from top to 
bottom. Every change and improvement must be enforced 
with implacable tenacity and with every ounce of our en- 
ergy. Not for one moment must we allow ourselves to be 
checked in the work of reformation by the inertia of in- 
stitutions that are now out of date, or by the culpable 
indolence of legislators or bureaucrats. 


Only thus shall we achieve our supreme aim : the equip- 
ment of the democracies for the bitter life and death 
struggle, for the task of opening up the road to the com- 
plete attainment of their glorious destiny. 

EUGENIO RIGNANO (Editor of Scientia). 


IT is less easy than one would think to form an exact idea 
of the history of philosophy, of its function in the order 
of human disciplines, and the way in which it must en- 
deavor to carry out this function effectively. Like all his- 
tory, naturally, its task is to find out and reconstitute, and 
as far as possible to explain, realities which have previously 
come to pass ; but how far does the nature of these realities 
agree with the labor of reconstruction, and in any case is 
it not of such a nature as to require special methods or 
special mental attitudes for accomplishing the task? It 
is not enough to say or to presume that the methods of 
investigation proper to history have simply -to be applied 
in the present case ; for limits must be assigned to the par- 
ticular object to which these methods are applied, and the 
meaning of the questions we must ask ourselves in order 
to understand it should be determined: now it is from the 
nature of the object that the enunciation of these questions, 
to a considerable extent at all events, is evidently deduced. 
Consequently, we must inquire as to the precise way in 
which philosophy lends itself to historical study. 

At the outset, we must note that philosophy is not a 
thing that exists objectively, at least in an objective mate- 

1 The following article is a lecture given by the late Victor Delbos and is 
entitled "Les conceptions de 1'histoire de la philosophic." It is printed in the 
Revue de metaphysique et de morale for March, 1917 (Vol. XXIV, pp. 135- 
147), and the translation is by Fred Roth well. 


rial existence conformable with the unity and simplicity 
of the word. Philosophy does not exist, but philosophies 
do, philosophical doctrines or conceptions which have ap- 
peared either successively or simultaneously, and many of 
which, strange to say, have claimed to be the vehicles of 
complete and certain truth, to supply the formulas which 
conclude investigation, and hence, in a way, as regards 
knowledge of their object, to arrest the course of history. 
These philosophies are diverse and frequently opposed to 
one another, not only in the solutions they reach but also in 
the problems from which they originate and still more in 
the faculties they bring into play and the methods they 
employ, and even in the representation of their ideal, which 
is strictly systematic in some and in the others more divided 
and parceled out, less engaged in the quest for unity: so 
that we have actually some difficulty in indicating those 
characteristics whereby philosophic doctrines or concep- 
tions are really distinguished from other forms of intellec- 
tual production. 

Nevertheless, an attempt must be made to indicate these 
characteristics. Without either prejudging or excluding 
anything, we may lay it down that the various philosophic 
doctrines or conceptions have come about, in part or in 
whole, with reference to this end: from the resources of 
the human mind alone to supply an all-embracing explana- 
tion of reality and also such an idea of the destiny of man 
as will enable us to determine his essential task in this 
world. I state that the various philosophies have appeared 
with reference to this end, by which term I mean that while 
some of them have had this end directly in view and be- 
lieved they could actually realize it more or less completely, 
others have wished to examine and dispute this very claim, 
in such a way at times as to consider it more or less illegiti- 
mate, more or less capable of realization. Some philos- 
ophies are doctrinal and dogmatic, others are critical and 


sceptical ; others again combine or link together these two 
tendencies in varying proportions. From another point of 
view, the importance allotted to any particular part of the 
philosophic problem varies according to the philosophers. 
All the same, speaking generally, all philosophy is quali- 
fied by its relation, whether total or partial, affirmative or 
critical, or even consciously negative, to the end we have 
just set forth. 

Hence, while we can set approximate limits to the 
object of the history of philosophy, it would all the same 
appear that this object scarcely lends itself to historical 
research without being misrepresented. Indeed, is it not 
characteristic of many philosophic doctrines that they claim 
completely to reconstruct all previous work and hence to 
suppress their dependence on the past? To some extent, 
history imposes on them like dependence. Is it not also 
the characteristic of many of them that they claim to ex- 
press the whole truth, i. e., an adequation of mind and 
matter, freed from the conditions of time? Now, history 
subordinates them, however slightly, to conditions of this 
kind. Cartesianism offers us a striking and decisive in- 
stance of the conflict between the historical and the philo- 
sophic mind. Descartes, when he philosophizes, does not 
want to know if men existed before him or not ; moreover, 
he asserts the truth he discovers through the content and 
the concatenation of clear, distinct ideas, the meaning and 
scope of which are eternal and immutable. The philos- 
opher contemplates or explains things sub specie aeterni- 
tatis. The historian can only consider them under the 
form of time. Malebranche, like a good Cartesian, is ever 
telling us that the knowledge of the philosophic opinions 
of other men is quite useless and may be extremely preju- 
dicial to the search after truth. It cannot be denied, on 
the other hand, that the history of philosophy has fre- 
quently set forth the contrast between systems and the per- 


petual and useless going over the same ground again and 
again on the part of philosophers themselves. Still, we 
must discover if such a view has not been added on to 
history, both by the prejudices of a sceptical mind which 
likes to find an irremediable contradiction everywhere, 
and by the excesses of the dogmatic mind which, presup- 
posing that philosophic truth is absolutely realized some- 
where in a given system, delights in proving the impotence 
or the obscurity of everything outside this system. To do 
this, however, we must endeavor to form a clear idea of the 
history of philosophy, for this idea is itself of varying 
nature and does not readily reveal itself in its exact form. 
Let us examine a few modern works which, directly or in- 
directly, have either contributed to this revelation or have 
claimed to do so. 

Strictly speaking, it is impossible to count among the 
works dealing with the history of philosophy such a work 
as Bayle's Dictionnaire historique et critique (Rotterdam, 
1695-1697, 2 vols). Many of his articles, however, which 
treat of doctrines of the past, bear witness to far-reaching 
sources of information that is less well arranged than curi- 
ous in its nature. Moreover, the restoration or the evoca- 
tion of these doctrines is calculated to confound human 
reason and that along the lines of scepticism. Here we are 
rather dealing with a philosophical criticism of the doc- 
trines handed down to us than with a historical criticism 
of the methods in which their transmission has come about. 
Directed along these lines, Bayle's intelligence does not 
always penetrate to the real essence of a system, far from 
it. None the less has this exposition of various doctrines 
resulted in a certain notion of them being spread abroad 
and popularized, while a stimulus has been given to the 
spirit of research in the domain of the history of philosophy. 

Before assuming a form capable of combining the phil- 
osophical interest of the object with the historical require- 


ments of research, the history of philosophy has again in 
modern times acquired characteristics which have kept it 
more or less aloof from the one or the other of these two 
conditions. The History of Philosophy, by Thomas Stan- 
ley, published in London in 1655, 2d ed. 1687, translated 
into Latin, Leipsic, 1711, is no more than a pragmatic 
and ^narrative history; it follows to a considerable extent 
the same lines as the work of Diogenes Laertius; more- 
over, it is concerned only with the philosophy previous to 
Christianity, on the ground that, "Christian theology being 
the receptacle of truth, there is no longer any reason why 
philosophy should seek it."- Brucker's works certainly in- 
dicate an advance on this method of procedure; his prin- 
cipal work, Historia critica philosophiae, a mundo incuna- 
bulis ad nostram usque aetatem deducta, 5 vols. (Leipsic, 
1742-1744), is not only very erudite and unambiguous, it 
is also largely critical. The doctrines are stated faithfully, 
though the idea of their concatenation and their relative 
importance is lacking. Convinced that truth has its home 
in Protestant orthodoxy and in the philosophy of Leibniz, 
Brucker judges doctrines by this standard, and occasionally 
almost misjudges the causes that have produced discordant 
systems causes that have a deeper origin than human 
perversity. Truth being single, error is multiple, and the 
history of philosophy, by disclosing the multiplicity of sys- 
tems, shows infinita falsae philosophiae exempla. Brucker 
confuses the history of philosophy in its origin with that 
of religions, mythologies and poetry. Here, no doubt, he 
was right in thinking that the origins of philosophic thought 
raised the problem of its relation to those forms of belief 
which involved ideas on the world ; but in those days he had 
no means of stating clearly and attacking effectively let 
alone solving this kind of problem. At all events, even 
his formal statement of purely philosophical doctrines still 


resembles too closely the pragmatic statement of Diogenes 

There is more coherence and organization in Tiede- 
mann's work: Geist der speculativen Philosophic (7 vols., 
Marburg, 1791-1797). This is an expose of the doctrines 
of theoretic philosophy from Thales down to Berkeley, an 
expose which aims at stricter impartiality, and frequently, 
if not always, succeeds in entering profoundly into the 
meaning of the doctrines. Tiedemann possesses a rela- 
tively objective criterion for the examination of systems. 
He believes that it would be arbitrary to gauge their im- 
portance by the truth of any particular one regarded as 
absolutely certain; above all, he would try to find out if a 
philosopher has contributed something new, if he bases his 
affirmations on solid reasons, if he is able to connect his 
thoughts mentally and ensure their mutual agreement, and 
what difficulties could be brought up against him. Tiede- 
mann is one of the opponents of the new philosophy, at that 
time the Kantian; for his part, he holds to conceptions 
which combine the philosophy of Leibniz and Wolff with 
that of Locke. 

It is not surprising however that the appearance and 
the predominance of the Kantian philosophy tended to make 
Kantism a guide alike in the exposition and the examina- 
tion of the doctrines, especially since Kantism claims to 
solve by critical idealism the conflicts of reason, the mani- 
fest origin of the conflicts between systems. This tendency 
we find in Buhle, a Kantian along the lines of Jacobi, 
though he is somewhat cautious and not too manifestly 
prejudiced in favor of historic truth. His Lehrbuch der 
Geschichte der Philosophic und einer kritischen Litteratur 
derselben (8 vols., Gottingen, 1796-1804); and his Ge- 
schichte der neueren Philosophic (6 vols., Gottingen, 1800 
1805), are mainly valuable by reason of the bibliographies 


they contain. The Geschichte der neueren Philosophie 
also contains important extracts from rare works. 

Faith in the truth of Kantism is more pronounced in the 
work of Tennemann. 

In the years 1798 to 1819 Wilhelm Gottlieb Tennemann 
published his great history of philosophy: Geschichte der 
Philosophie, in eleven volumes; it was meant to be com- 
pleted in thirteen volumes. This work has certain good 
points : a careful and occasionally critical investigation into 
origins, great clarity of exposition, considerable wealth of 
information and numerous references. Its defect is that 
it judges doctrines too much in their relation to Kantism; 
all the same, its conception of the evolution of philosophic 
doctrines is one that removes from them the contingent 
character of being successive and disconnected opinions. 
Its object is to set forth the efforts of reason to realize the 
idea of the science of the ultimate laws and principles of 
nature and liberty. This conception of a progressive devel- 
opment of reason in its strivings toward science was also 
held by Kant, and, in passing, it is curious to note that 
Kant had the idea of a rational history of philosophy; one 
that differed from empiric history in the fact that, instead 
of noting the succession of the doctrines purely and simply, 
it must explain their sequence by the progressive evolution 
of reason itself. This quasi-Hegelian conception of the 
history of philosophy was not developed by Kant in his 
works: traces of it are found among his notes (Reicke, 
Lose Blatter, II, p. 277 etc.; 285 etc.) The main points 
of Tennemann's great work are included in his manual: 
Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie fur den akademi- 
schen Unterricht (ist edition, Leipsic, 1812, 5th edition, 
Leipsic, 1829). This manual, of which Cousin published a 
French translation (2d edition, 1839) supplies important 
bibliographical information. 

Though in Germany the authority gained by the phi- 


losophy of Leibniz and Wolff, and later on by that of Kant, 
might render somewhat partial the study of the doctrines 
of the past, still, the speculative character of these two 
philosophies predisposed one to feelings of sympathy for 
the various historical manifestations of philosophic thought ; 
whereas in France, the mind, less inclined to speculation, 
evoked the doctrines of a more or less distant past only to 
bring out their inadequacy or vanity. In France, the spirit 
of the eighteenth century is a struggle against the philo- 
sophic structures of the preceding century, against Carte- 
sianism and its offshoots. The historical element of philos- 
ophy in the works of that time affects a polemical char- 
acter. In his Traite des systemes Condillac deals thus with 
Malebranche, Spinoza and Leibniz, though he does it mainly 
to prove that their systems, based on abstract principles, 
set forth as certain, propositions that are arbitrary, vague 
and unintelligible a testimony to the error which consists 
in thinking that abstract formulas are capable of affording 
determinate knowledge. Nevertheless, it is to Degerando, 
a writer belonging to the ideological school, that the merit 
of attempting a general history of philosophy in the be- 
ginning of the nineteenth century is due, though Dege- 
rando had been influenced in this direction less by the 
tendencies of the school to which he belonged than by an 
acquaintance with the German works of this class which 
he had acquired. 

The comparative history of the systems of philosophy, 
first published in three volumes by Degerando (1804), re- 
edited in four volumes in 1822-1823, and translated into 
German by Tennemann (1806-1807), attempted to add to 
the historical exposition of the systems a critical analysis 
of the cause from which these systems are derived. This 
historical exposition sets forth, as a center for all histor- 
ical ventures, the problem of the universal principles of all 
knowledge, interpreted largely after the ideologists ; critical 


analysis adopts as its final object, by comparing the essen- 
tial data of systems with their consequences, an inquiry 
into the system which is the best in itself. This system, 
regarded by Degerando as the philosophy of experience, 
experience that is complete, both interior and exterior, and 
interpreted by the mind which only refuses to supply a 
priori knowledge, of itself, in turn enables us to recognize 
the relative truth of other systems : prior to Cousin, Dege- 
rando would indeed appear to have admitted the necessity 
and importance of eclecticism. Nevertheless, insight and 
vigor are too frequently wanting in this history, which 
deliberately gives the doctrines a certain meaning ; the very 
concatenation of the doctrines is here but partially grasped. 
By reintroducing as a law of the mind an idea which 
Wolfifianism had rather unfortunately neglected in Leibniz, 
the idea of development, of Entwickelung, post-Kantian 
German speculation supplied a concept capable of giving 
a meaning to the sequence of systems. Schleiermacher is 
one of those who approached the history of philosophy 
under the influence of this concept, more or less strictly 
applied ; but we are mainly indebted to Schleiermacher not 
only for a profound sense of that which, in the history of 
ideas, links past to present and gives it a renewal of life, 
but also for original and suggestive views on ancient phi- 
losophy, principally set forth in various articles and in the 
commentaries that accompany his translation of Plato. 
Schleiermacher greatly influenced H. Ritter, the author of 
a history of philosophy, Geschichte der Philosophic, in 
twelve volumes, ranging from the most ancient times to 
the period of Kant (1829-1853). Ritter looks upon phi- 
losophy as a whole which continues to develop ; he refuses, 
however, to consider preceding doctrines as moments of 
the doctrine which replaces them in time; he expressly 
opposes all methods of dealing with the history of philos- 
ophy by a priori construction; hence he would withdraw 


from the influence of the man who, and the doctrine which, 
in spite of the criticisms which may be launched against 
them, have contributed most to attract men to the history of 
philosophy and to enable them to see how interesting it is: 
Hegel and the Hegelian doctrine. 

To Hegel undoubtedly is due the credit for introducing 
a conception of the history of philosophy which, while sub- 
ject to reserve and criticism (for the spirit in which the 
history of philosophy becomes with him a philosophy of 
history, and, more than that, a philosophy of becoming 
a philosophy set up once for all as an absolute and itself 
setting up becoming as an absolute might easily corrupt 
or do away with the historical sense itself), has at least 
claimed to show forth the compatibility or even the pro- 
found agreement of philosophy with its history and has 
reconciled the historic with the philosophic spirit. In a 
general way, it is known that Hegel regarded philosophy 
as the science of the absolute in the form of a dialectic 
development of thought proceeding by way of thesis, an- 
tithesis and synthesis from the most indeterminate and 
abstract to the richest and most concrete concepts: the 
dialectic method reproduces in the consciousness of the 
thinking subject the sense of reality itself. In these con- 
ditions, philosophy is amenable to historical understanding, 
provided that history itself is not simply a description of 
unconnected events but an intelligent and regular con- 
catenation. The usual idea of the history of philosophy, 
however, is far removed from such a conception: what is 
offered under this name, or rather, the idea we form, is 
a disorderly succession of opinions that are often strange, 
a veritable museum of extravagant ideas : and what could 
be more futile than the mere knowledge of a series of 
opinions ? What curiosity is it capable of satisfying, apart 
from that pedantic curiosity which indeed clings to the 
futile ? Let me add that this succession of conflicting opin- 


ions only strengthens all the prejudices which the super- 
ficial mind so readily welcomes against the possibility of 
philosophy : every effort to introduce philosophic truth into 
the world is met by Pilate's ironical question: What is 
truth ? 

It is the idea of development that enables us to reject 
this superficial view of the history of philosophy. All devel- 
opment is the realization of a potentiality. That which is 
potential in a subject passes into action as the result of 
development. Thus, one and the same subject passes 
through a number of states and degrees: this does not 
prevent it from being essentially one and the same sub- 
ject. In the present instance, the subject that is the one 
and the same is philosophy; whereas the various histor- 
ical philosophies are states and degrees in its realization. 
The fundamental theme is the knowledge of pure thought 
for itself ; the successive and progressive variations of this 
theme the various philosophies correspond each of them 
to a determination of thought which, per se f is necessary, 
immutable and eternal; each of these determinations ap- 
pears in process of time as the principle of a doctrine; in- 
deed, the doctrine is born and dies in time, like everything 
that obeys the law of time; the motion, however, which 
serves it as a principle, is immutable and indestructible; 
it is a necessary moment in the dialectic development of 
thought. In other words, the many succeeding symptoms 
are the chronological manifestations of a dialectic order 
of development which is eternal in itself; it is the temporal 
forms that the categories of thought assume. And just 
as the concepts by means of which human thought attains 
to higher levels do not altogether abolish the logically 
anterior concepts, but include as well as transcend them, 
so do the systems which replace the other systems retain 
of these latter, dominating and explaining it the while, the 
essential element which had been their raison d'etre. Con- 


sequently, all philosophy exists necessarily; no philosophy 
has wholly died; they all actually exist in genuine philos- 
ophy, as moments of a whole (see Hegel, Vorlesungen 
uber die Geschichte der Philosophic, ist vol., I3th vol. of 
the complete works, pp. 19-64). 

The chief interest of this conception of Hegel's is that 
instead of contrasting philosophy with its history in such 
a way as to make this latter inoperative or even of a par- 
alyzing effect on present philosophic thought, it makes 
philosophy the philosophy which tends most to pursue 
the absolute one with its history. It also makes of the 
sequence of the doctrines, not a contingent succession of 
episodes and opinions, but rather the expression of a con- 
tinuous and regular effort to reach truth, through all its 
contradictory forms. When we agree that the knowledge 
of truth is subject to a law of evolution, we cannot set up 
as an argument against it the evolutionary development 
it has had to carry out, any more than we can regard this 
development as meaningless. In the sequence of doctrines, 
then, we find a reasonableness which enables us largely 
to recognize the reason of to-day. We may imagine that 
this conception of the history of philosophy, as set forth 
by the genius of Hegel, has attracted many a mind to this 
class of study; indeed, many of the great historians of 
philosophy produced by nineteenth-century Germany, such 
as Ed. Erdmann, Ed. Zeller, Kuno Fischer, while more or 
less repudiating, along the lines of research, the too con- 
structive and too unanalytical methods of Hegel, all the 
same retained a great deal of his spirit. 

The thing of course that is most arbitrary to us in 
Hegel's conception, is that it connects too closely the mean- 
ing of the history of philosophy as a whole with the triumph 
of the Hegelian philosophy. It must however be noted that 
a certain interpretation of this philosophy, while not alto- 
gether indisputable, at all events fairly natural, would do 


away with all future evolution of the philosophy that would 
supply it with a history. Being the whole of truth and com- 
pletely expressed, Hegel's doctrine would appear to leave 
to the dialectic order of concepts no other manifestations 
to produce in time. Even if we remove from the Hegelian 
doctrine its most dogmatic content, it would still appear 
very arbitrary to interpret the march of systems in accord- 
ance with the law of a dialectic progress whose moments 
are predetermined. While it sometimes happens that we 
can bring some particular succession of doctrines within 
the scope of this very general scheme, it is only on condition 
we give this scheme no more importance than that of being 
a frame whose relation to the picture it encircles is merely 
one of symmetry or external proportion. 

The main question, however, is to discover whether the 
sequence and the filiation of doctrines in time can be de- 
termined for us essentially by logical necessities. Now, if 
we admit that, throughout the successive doctrines, there 
is a certain regular development of philosophic thought 
and human intellect, and if we also admit that a new doc- 
trine is linked on to those that have preceded it by relations 
which may be represented logically, relations from prin- 
ciple to consequence, relations of opposition and of concilia- 
tion, it does not therefore result that the transition from 
the prior doctrines to the following ones comes about in 
historic reality that can be apprehended by a law which 
imposes these relations a priori. In the way in which a 
new doctrine is built up, there are many factors supplied 
by the personality of the philosopher, his own distinctive 
methods of formation, reflection and spiritual invention, 
as well as by social traditions and renewals, sentimental 
aspirations and scientific requirements. Even if a kind of 
universal mind, advancing gradually in the direction of 
truth, were operating in all these particularities and con- 
tingencies; it would none the less follow that it is in these 


particularities and contingencies, which are offered us at 
the outset, that we are able to understand something of 
them. At all events, we have no right to infer in what way 
the doctrines succeed one another; we ought mainly to 
attempt to determine a host of circumstances, irreducible 
to concepts, which guide this succession. The method of 
a priori construction in the history of philosophy must be 
rejected, from the historical point of view at least. Usually, 
when more or less consciously practised, this method is but 
the expression of a philosopher's thought projected into 
history, in order to direct its course. 

We must apply the same reserve as regards attempts 
which, although mitigating the Hegelian method or even 
opposing it, make use of certain general determinations 
in planning the history of philosophy or distributing the 
doctrines. Having received in it the thought of Hegel, 
without fully understanding it, at all events accepting it 
only in order to modify and pervert it, Victor Cousin tried 
to prove that the multitude of systems can be quickly re- 
solved into a few principal systems which, through their 
relations and combinations, are the essential and lasting 
factors of the entire historic development of philosophy. 
These systems, each of which is connected with no more 
than a part of the total reality to exalt it into a whole, both 
in type and in principle, are sensualism, idealism, scepticism 
and mysticism. Sensualism firmly believes in the authority 
of the senses and in the existence of matter ; but it believes 
in nothing else. Idealism firmly believes in the existence 
of the mind and in the authority of the ideas belonging 
to it ; but it believes in nothing else. While the inadequacy 
of sensualism brings about as a natural reaction the ap- 
pearance of idealism, these two dogmatisms, by opposing 
each other, cast reflection into a state of uncertainty and 
cause it to proclaim the vanity of all scientific investigation : 
hence scepticism. Scepticism in its turn, unable to satisfy 


the need to believe, awakens in the mind confidence in 
spontaneous and irrational inspiration: hence mysticism. 
These are the four great systems to be found at the root 
of all the historical developments of philosophy: naturally 
they combine and blend together; still, these are the true 
factors, alike vouched for by an investigation into the 
progress of reflection and by the study of history. And 
Cousin, with certain reservations, is inclined to think that 
they succeed one another in this order, for the mind in- 
vestigates things of the senses before it investigates ideas ; 
the contrast of the two dogmatisms is needed to lead to 
scepticism, just as lassitude regarding scepticism is needed 
to make mysticism into a doctrine. (Histoire generate de 
la philosophic, ist lesson.) 

In these considerations there is much that is vague and 
arbitrary: it would not be possible to include the history 
of philosophy in this law of the generation of the four 
systems except by very indeterminate definitions and arti- 
ficial suppressions. Above all, at the origin of these re- 
marks there is a very incorrect conception, the belief that 
the systems proceed from a kind of general element; we 
may call Epicurus, Locke and Condillac sensualists, and 
this may be regarded as true enough, though it overlooks 
the effort by which this element has been specified: now, 
it is specification that causes the interest, originality and 
potency of the doctrine. There is nothing more vague 
than the term idealism, it may be used to include very dif- 
ferent and even opposite doctrines. On the other hand, 
while it may be said that the development of a certain in- 
tellectual tendency, a development carried more or less to 
extremes, causes the appearance of a contrary tendency, 
this is but a very simple scheme which affords us no in- 
formation whatsoever as to the manner in which it assumes 
a concrete form. 

In contrast with the Hegelian and eclectic spirit, Ch. 


Renouvier in his Esquisse d'une classification and his Di- 
lemmes de la met a physique pure, has set forth a general 
view of the history of philosophy in the form of dilemmas 
dealing with various subjects: the dilemma of the uncon- 
ditioned or of the conditioned, of substance or of law, of 
the infinite or of the finite, of determinism or of freedom, 
of things or of persons. These dilemmas call for an ex- 
clusive option, in contradistinction from the Hegelian an- 
tinomies which call for a reconciliation, and the series of 
the terms which are on one and the same side, the first 
in the present instance, must be rejected to afford room 
for the acceptance of the other series. This method of sub- 
jecting the whole of the systems to a dichotomic method 
may be interesting philosophically ; still, it gives us no idea 
of historic truth. A doctrine like that of Leibniz, for in- 
stance, includes arguments which depend on the contrasted 
parts of the dilemmas : and while this is a striking instance, 
it is far from being the only one. The eclectic method, by 
preparing us to understand the comparing of ideas and 
their fusion, ideas that are at the outset heterogeneous or 
incongruous, is probably more favorable than this dicho- 
tomic method for studies in the history of philosophy. 

By setting forth and criticizing some of the principal 
attempts by means of which we have tried to fix the objects 
and methods of the history of philosophy, it has been our 
sole object to show that the practice of the history of phi- 
losophy may not be so easy a matter, since an exact and 
definite idea of it is so slow and difficult to reach. 




IT MAY be said that the time has passed when the 
study of religion and of that religious feeling which is 
the "essential basis of conduct" 1 could be claimed as the 
exclusive product of a single body of men. With the 
growth of the science of comparative religion, and with 
the great importance now attached to the study of religious 
phenomena by psychologists and ethnologists, it is to an- 
thropology that one must turn if religious values are to be 
fully understood. What is most remarkable is the fact that 
while on the one hand we have many Christian churches 
deploring the falling off in numbers of their communicants 
together with the universal apathy displayed by the laity 
at large to all matters of a religious character, we should 
have on the other hand, and as a result of recent scientific 
investigation, a value and a significance attached to the 
religious instinct which promises to be pregnant with fu- 
ture possibilities. If it were necessary to indicate, by one 
fact more than another, how great this interest is, one 
might point to that valuable and monumental work, now 
in course of publication, which deals with all the main 
factors of religious life and culture with its mythology 
and its history, its superstitions and its ethics, its philos- 
ophy and psychology, 2 for "it is safe to say that there is no 

1 Thomas Henry Huxley. 

2 The Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, Edinburgh, edited by Dr. 
Hastings, M.A., F.R.A.I., and Dr. Selbie, M.A. 

PRAYER. 4 11 

subject of modern research which concerns all classes as 
nearly as the study of religions." 2 

Until recent years it was held for the most part that 
barbaric and uncivilized man possessed little of the senti- 
ment and feeling which we associate with the term "re- 
ligion." He was given credit for the practice of hideous 
superstitions and of rites of the most abominable kind, but 
it was explicitly denied that he possessed religious feeling 
in any higher form. 4 Even authorities like the late Lord 
Avebury held that prayer itself, being to us a necessary 
part of religion, was quite independent of the lower forms 
of religion. 5 We know now that, not only is religion a 
matter of vital importance in the every-day life of the 
savage, being interwoven with all his habits, customs and 
mode of thought, 6 but that the practice of prayer itself is 
found to exist among some of the most savage races known 
to us. Even certain savage customs, barbarous and cruel 
as we may deem them, when traced to their fountain head 
are found to have arisen from the most pious motives and 
are carried into effect through the most earnest conditions. 7 
What adds a deep significance to the value of the religious 
impulse is the undoubted fact that wherever and whenever 
a religion has been brought into ridicule and contempt, 
physical and moral decrepitude have followed as a fixed 
and a natural consequence. Having for my part paid no 
inconsiderable attention for some years past, to the effect 
of outside or alien influences upon the character of civilized 
and uncivilized man in various parts of the globe, it would 
be a most difficult task for me to name any race or tribe 
whose morale has not undergone serious degeneration 

3 See Committee on Publication, Brinton's Lectures on the Religions of 
Primitive Peoples, New York, 1897. 

4 Dr. Brinton, ibid., pp. 30-31, referring to Lubbock and H. Spencer. 

5 Origin of Civilisation, 6th ed., 1911, p. 402. 

6 See Ellis, Tshi-Speaking Peoples of the Gold Coast, 1887, p. 9. 

7 Ellis, ibid., p. 9. 


when once its ancient ritual and its religion have been 
brought into contumely. This being granted, the para- 
mount importance of religion may be considered to be al- 
most beyond discussion. 

Writing some years ago, the late,Auguste Sabatier, 
formerly Dean of the faculty of Protestant theology, Paris, 
declared that nothing better reveals the worth and moral 
dignity of a religion than the kind of prayer it puts into 
the lips of its adherents; 8 a truism which we shall find to 
be as applicable to the most primitive, as it is to the highest 
forms of religious development. 

Many prayers have been recorded in recent years from 
savage races. An examination of these petitions shows 
that, in the great majority of cases, it is for material pros- 
perity and gain that the savage prays. He asks that his 
crops may prosper, that he himself may be freed of danger, 
that no disease may befall his cattle or that they may not 

Thus the Egbos, a tribe living in the depths of the bush 
in Southern Nigeria, pray to the sun and say: 

"Sun of morning, sun of evening, let me be freed from 
danger to-day/' 8 In another instance the prayer is to 
Obassi a kind of ancestor god "Obassi, everything was 
made by you; you made earth and heaven; without you 
nothing was made, everything comes from you." 1 

The natives of Brass, in the Niger Delta, before eating 
and drinking, present a little food and liquid to the house- 
hold deity, and then offer the following prayer : 

"Preserve our lives, O Spirit Father who has gone be- 
fore and make thy house fruitful, so that we thy children 
shall increase, multiply, and so grow rich and powerful." 1 

8 Philosophy of Religion Based on Psychology and History, 1897, p. 109. 
P. Amaury Talbot, In the Shadow of the Bush, 1912, p. 21. 

10 Talbot, ibid., p. 66. 

11 A. G. Leonard, The Lower Niger and its Tribes, 1906, p. 292. 

PRAYER. 413 

Writing of the New Caledonians, Dr. J. G. Frazer 
says : "If only wrestling in prayer could satisfy the wants 
of man, few people should be better provided with all the 
necessities and comforts of life than the New Caledon- 

ians." 12 

The Todas, a pastoral tribe inhabiting the Nilgiri pla- 
teau, offer prayer continually in their daily life. Dr. W. 
H. R. Rivers, tells us that these prayers are in the form of 
supplications to invoke the aid of the gods to protect their 
buffaloes. "May it be well with the buffaloes, may they 
not suffer from disease or die, may they be kept from poi- 
sonous plants, and from wild beasts, and from injury by 
flood or fire, may there be water and grass in plenty." 1 

To take another example from the Dark Continent, we 
find that the Bawenda, a Bantu tribe living in the north- 
eastern portion of the Transvaal, offer the following ap- 
peal during their annual sacrifices at the graves of their 
ancestors : 

"O Modzimo, Thou art our father; we, Thy children, 
have congregated here, we humbly beg to inform Thee that 
a new year has commenced. Thou art our God ; Thou art 
our Creator; Thou art our Keeper; we pray Thee give us 
food for us and our children ; give us cattle ; give us happi- 
ness, preserve us from illness, pestilence and war." 14 

While this feature, the desire for material gain, is a 
predominant one in all primitive ritual, it is hardly neces- 
sary for us to be reminded that it is also a dominant char- 
acteristic of all the higher religions. The great difference 
between the creed of the savage and the creed of the higher 
races is this, that while among the former it is material 
gain that is chiefly sought, among the latter the material 

12 The Belief in Immortality, Vol. I, p. 332, 1913. 

13 The Todas, 1906, p. 216. 

14 Rev. E. Gottschling in Journal of the Anthropological Institute, 1905, 
Vol. 35, p. 380. 


factor has become, as it were, spiritualized, as we shall see 
when we come to examine the liturgy of the higher races. 

Nevertheless, an ethical element is present in many 
prayers offered by races whom we, in common parlance, 
classify as "savage." Thus the Sioux of North America 

"O my Grandfather the Earth, I ask that Thou givest 
me a long life and strength of body. When I go to war 
let me capture many horses and kill many enemies, but in 
peace let not anger enter my heart." 15 

It will scarcely be denied that in the portion of this 
prayer italicized we have the appearance of an ethical ele- 
ment which is absent from the supplications taken from a 
lower stage of culture. Indeed, it may be said that, with 
a few verbal alterations this Sioux prayer might well stand 
side by side with many of those which still find utterance 
in the congregations of Christendom. And if it be thought 
that the ethical element in this prayer be an exception, 
surely the following incident would serve to dispel it. 

At Fort Yates, overlooking the Missouri River, there 
exists at this moment a remarkable petrification in the 
shape of a woman with a child on her back, very life-like 
in appearance and which is venerated by the red Indians 
as a sacred relic. This figure was brought to the Indian 
Agency and set up in its present position at the suggestion 
of Mr. James McLaughlin, formerly Indian agent to the 
Sioux. A great council of Indians was held, at which it 
was agreed that the unveiling of the image should be per- 
formed by some Indian who could truly claim possession 
of all the Indian virtues. A warrior named Fire Cloud 
was selected. On the day of the ceremony, Fire Cloud, 
addressing the Great Spirit, prayed for peace, hoping that 
the erection of the monument would establish a lasting 
peace in all the land, not only between the Indians and 

15 Capt. Clark quoted by Dr. Brinton. Ibid., p. 106. 

PRAYER. 415 

the white men, but between the Indians themselves. He 
prayed that the Great Spirit would bless the rock and the 
place, so that they might be regarded as a pledge of the 
eternal cessation of warfare. Then, turning to his brother 
Indians assembled, he charged them that it was their duty 
to observe the laws of the Great Spirit, and that those 
among them who had not clean hearts and hands should 
stand abashed and humiliated in the presence of the woman 
of the Standing Rock and the Great Spirit. He then and 
there called upon them to repent and devote themselves to 
lead clean and pure lives in the future. 18 

During one of their ceremonies for initiation into the 
mysteries of manhood, the youth of the Omaha (a Sioux 
tribe) prays to Wako the great permeating life of visible 
nature, itself invisible, but which reaches everything and 
everywhere. Standing alone in a solitary place, with clay 
upon his head and tears falling from his eyes, he, with 
hands uplifted, supplicates the Great Spirit to aid him in his 
need. 17 

These instances in themselves may perhaps suffice to 
show how important a place prayer does occupy in the 
mind of so-called savage and uncivilized man. 

Let us now turn to the ancient civilized peoples of the 
Old World. A great number of prayers and invocations 
have come down to us from ancient Babylonia; many of 
them being exquisite invocations put into the mouth of 
worshipers, expressive of their deep sense of moral quiet, 
yet ending as Dr. Jastrow points out, in a dribble of in- 
cantations which had survived from a more archaic period. 18 
The prayers of the ancient Egyptians are familiar to 
most of us. Wake quotes from Bunsen the following 

16 James McLaughlin, My Friend the Indian, 1910, pp. 36-39. 

17 See 27th Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, Washington 
1901, by Alice Fletcher and Francis la Flesche (the latter a member of the 
Omaha tribe). 

18 The Study of Religion, 1901, p. 213. 


which shows how great has been the growth of the moral 
element in what had originally been nothing more than a 
magical formula: 

"Oh, thou great God, Lord of Truth, I have come to 
thee, my Lord, I have brought myself to see thy blessings, 
I have known thee I have brought ye truth. Rub ye 
away my faults. I have not told falsehoods in the Tribunal 
of Truth. I have had no acquaintance with evil." 19 

Turning to ancient Persia, we find in the Gathas or 
Sacred Chants attributed to Zoroaster and forming part of 
the Yashna, the great liturgical book of the Avesta, many 
prayers of a high and lofty character. These chants are 
concerned with the nature and attributes of Ahura-Mazda, 
the Great Living Lord, the Most Wise. The first chant 
has been described by one of its translators Canon Cook 
as a perfect example of intercessory prayer, in which 
Ahura-Mazda is addressed as the Supreme Deity, and be- 
fore whom Zoroaster stands as his prophet. Too long to 
quote here, it begins and ends with prayer and praise to 
the Lord of the Universe, but the following lines will give 
a faint idea of its import : 

"With hands in prayer uplifted 

To Mazda, the quickening Spirit, 
I fain would give due honor 

To all who, by good works, win favor 
From Him, the Good, the Holy. 

"The just, whom thou approvest 

Righteous and pure in spirit, 
Do thou, O mighty Ormuzd 

With thine own mouth instruct from Heaven ! 
Teach me thy words of power 

By which creation first was fashioned !" 20 

In another chant Zoroaster presents himself body and 
sou l intellectual faculties, moral and spiritual as an ob- 

19 Bunsen Egypt, Vol. IV, pp. 644-5, quoted by Wake, Evolution of Moral- 
ity, 1887, Vol. 2, p. 132. 

20 F. C. Cook, Origins of Religion and Language, 1884, pp. 212-216. 

PRAYER. 417 

lation to the Supreme Being. Canon Cook considers this 
particular chant to approach more closely than any other 
Gentile teaching the Christian idea of worship as set forth 
in the New Testament. 21 We quote the following lines: 

"Teach me to know the two laws, 

By which I may walk in good conscience, 
And worship thee, O Ormuzd, 
With hymns of pious adoration." 

* * * 

"Oh, holy pure Armaiti, 

Teach me the true law of purity." 

* * * 

"This offering Zoroaster, 

The vital principle of his whole being, 
Presents in pure devotion ; 

With every action done in holiness ; 
This above all professing 

Obedience to thy word with all its power." 22 

Zoroaster's noble moral code, epitomized as it has been 
in three short simple words, "Good thoughts, good words, 
good deeds," 23 is well illustrated by this translation of those 
beautiful psalms. 

Modern Persia, through its thirteenth-century poet, 
may lay claim to have given Christendom one of those 
great lessons which, as experience has so painfully shown, 
is so difficult for many of us to learn and to practise the 
lesson of toleration. In that poem known as the Mathnavi, 
which has been described as being perhaps the greatest 
mystical poem of any age, 24 Jalal-al-Din gives us the follow- 
ing exposition of the doctrine of largemindedness. Moses 
once heard a shepherd praying: "O Lord, show me where 
thou art, that I may become thy servant. I will clean thy 
shoes and comb thy hair, and sew thy clothes, and fetch 
thee milk." When Moses heard him praying so senselessly 

21 Ibid., p. 256. 

22 Ibid., pp. 247-248. 

2 3 Art. "Zoroastrianism," Encycl Biblica, 1907, Vol. 4, col. 5435. 

24 Encycl. Religion and Ethics, Vol. 7, p. 474. 


he rebuked him and said : "O foolish one, though thy father 
was a Muslem, thou hast become an infidel! God is a 
Spirit and needs not such gross ministrations as in thy 
ignorance thou supposest." Abashed at this stern rebuke 
the shepherd rent his clothes and fled to the desert. Then 
from heaven a voice was heard saying : "O Moses, why hast 
thou driven away my servant ? Thine office is to reconcile 
my people with me, not to drive them away, for I have 
given to men different ways and forms of praising and 
adoring me. I have no need of their praises, being exalted 
high above all such needs. I regard not the words which 
are spoken, but the heart that offers them." 2 

The religion of the Arabian prophet abounds with beau- 
tiful prayers and moral teaching of the highest order. 
Probably the best known prayer is the opening supplication 
of the Koran : "Praise be to God, the Lord of all creatures, 
the most merciful. Thee do we worship and of Thee do we 
beg assistance. Direct us in the right way, in the way of 
those to whom Thou hast been gracious, not of those 
against whom Thou art incensed, nor of those who go 

In other prayers it is declared that it is not the formal 
act of praying that justifies, but the doing of that which 
is held to be right and good. "It is not righteousness that 
ye turn your faces in prayer toward the east or the west; 
but righteousness is of him who believeth in God, who 
giveth money for God's sake unto his kindred, and unto 
orphans, and the needy, and the stranger .... and of those 
who perform their covenants when they have covenanted, 
and who behave themselves patiently in hardship and ad- 
versity and in times of violence, these are they who are 
true." 26 In another prayer the petitioner says: "O Lord, 

25 Whinfield's translation, quoted in L. M. J. Garnett's Mysticism and 
Magic in Turkey, 1912, pp. 51-52. 

28 Syed Ameer Ali, Islam, 1909, p. 9. 

PRAYER. 419 

I supplicate Thee for firmness in faith and direction toward 
rectitude, I supplicate Thee for an innocent heart, which 
shall not incline to wickedness ; and I supplicate Thee for a 
true tongue and for that virtue which Thou knowest." 27 

From Mohammedanism it is not unfitting to turn to 
Buddhism, from that great religious system of Arabia, 
with its imageless adoration of Allah, the All-Powerful 
to the religion of the Buddha, whose ethical system of 
philosophy is perhaps one of the the greatest the world has 
ever received, and whose image may be met with in thou- 
sands of shrines and temples in the Far East. 

For four hundred years no greater contention has vexed 
Christendom than that of the use of images in religious 
worship. Yet, it may be seriously questioned, whether, 
after all, its true import and significance its inwardness 
has even been realized and understood ; certainly not by 
those who are its chief opponents! 

The study of the image ritual of uncultured races throws 
an unexpected light upon the attitude of those who profess 
a higher creed, but who still retain their images of wood 
and of stone. Not even the most barbaric of men believes 
that the image to which he prays and to which he makes 
his offering, is of itself a deity. It is to the spirit which 
enters the idol, as it were, that he makes his supplication. 
Thus, it can hardly be open to reasonable doubt but that 
such an attitude has been the precursor and the inaugurator 
of religion of a greater and a nobler type. Certain it is 
that not only in its lower manifestations, but in its higher 
ones as well the presence of an image, to those who believe 
in it, exerts a most powerful influence over its votaries, 
but that influence is, in the majority of instances, misunder- 
stood by unsympathetic witnesses who may profess an alien 

Near Calcutta, in the little village of Bodh Gaya, there 

27 Ibid., p. 8. 


exists the temple of the Mahabodhi "of the great enlight- 
enment" a spot sanctified and held to be the most holy on 
earth by some hundred and forty millions of the human 
race. That temple, recently repaired by the Indian govern- 
ment, contains a medieval statue of the Buddha. 28 What 
mystic influence that image must have upon the Buddhist 
worshiper, may be gathered from Moncure D. Conway's 
description of his own feelings, when he, the rationalist, 
paid a visit to that shrine during his "Pilgrimage to the 
Wise Men of the East." He says: "I feel as if I know 
something of Zoroaster and of Jesus, and these two are to 
me the men who knew the true religion. The real Buddha 
is more dim, but at Gaya the thought of that young prince, 
burdened with the sorrows and delusions of mankind, 
reached far down in me and touched some subconscious 
source of tears and love for the man, and I longed to clasp 
his knees." 29 Again, the Rev. John Hedley, a Protestant 
missionary, who visited a few years since the Pagoda of 
T'ai Ming T'a in Mongolia, tells us in glowing language 
of the emotions produced in his own mind when he beheld 
the standing figure of the Buddha erected in that "pagan 
temple." He says the image affected him strangely and 
profoundly, so much so that, at the risk of offending his 
sturdy nonconformist brethren, he calls it but simple truth 
to state that it would have been a comparatively easy thing 
for him to have knelt down before that image and pay 
homage to "One greater" than Buddha, of whose selfless 
life Buddha himself was so marvelous a forerunner. 

"The sweet and gracious expression on that gentle face 
would have charmed an artist, inspired a poet, and captured 
the love of a devotee .... Had this figure stood in some 
venerable cathedral of the Catholic faith in Europe, the 

28 Mitra Rajendralala, LL.D., Buddha Gaya, the Hermitage of Sakya Muni, 
Calcutta, 1878. Encycl. Religion and Ethics, Vol. 6, pp. 182-185. 

29 Conway, My Pilgrimage, 1906, p. 263. 

PRAYER. 42 1 

most appropriate word to have written over it would have 
been the old familiar words of love and blessing, 'Come 
unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will 
give you rest/ I do not wonder now that some people find 
images and icons helpful to their faith .... For myself, it 
is not irreverent to say that though I bowed not my knee 
nor even momentarily inclined my head as I gazed on what 
in vulgar parlance we must call an idol, I realized my 
Lord more distinctly and drew nearer in spirit to Him." 3 
Surely it is time for us to pause, to rub our eyes, to 
ask ourselves whether we be in the twentieth century 
with its coal and its iron, its corn and its pigs or whether, 
after all, we are not back again in the old medieval times 
with its saints and its sinners, its Madonnas and its suffer- 
ing Christ? Once more the picture of Savonarola in his 
cell, with his crucifix before him, rises before us, as he 
re-pens the lines of that great prayer of his, known as the 
"Hymn to the Cross" : 

"Jesus ! would my heart were burning 

With more fervent love of Thee, 
Would my eyes were ever turning 
To Thy Cross of agony. 

"Would that, on that cross suspended, 

I the martyr-pangs might win, 
Where the Lord, the Heaven-descended, 
Sinless suffered for my sin!" 31 

Santa Teresa tells us, how, losing her mother at the 
tender age of twelve years, she went in her affliction to the 
image of Our Lady, and, with many tears, supplicated her 
to be her mother. 32 Upon another occasion, entering her 
oratory, her eyes by chance fell upon the image of the 
wounded Christ. "As I gazed on it, my whole being was 
stirred to see Him in such a state, for all He went through 
was well set forth ; such was the sorrow I felt for having 

30 John Hedley, F.R.G.S., Tramps in Dark Mongolia, 1906, pp. 140-142. 

31 See G. S. Godkin, The Monastery of San Marco, 1901, pp. 67-68. 

32 Santa Teresa by Gabriela C. Graham, 1894, Vol. 1. p. 93. 


repaid those wounds so ill, that my heart seemed rent in 
twain." 33 

Western civilization, with its immense and its intense 
material prosperity, has almost forgotten what it owes to 
the past. It may be that in some near future the infinity 
of that debt will be recognized and acknowledged. For, 
were one to search for the most beautiful examples of 
Christian prayer, which form such an essential feature of 
the Christian faith, it is to pre-Reformation times that one 
must turn. No greater battle has ever been waged over 
any book than over the Book of Common Prayer. Abhorred 
and hated by the early Puritans, denounced by them as 
being "full of abominations," and branded as "ridiculous 
and blasphemous," 34 that book remains still unrivaled and 
unsurpassed in Christendom as a manual of true devotion. 
Yet nine-tenths of this book are no recent creation, but 
belong to the most ancient periods of Christian history. 
To certain Protestant historians is due the everlasting 
credit of indicating how vast our debt is. Milner says that 
the litanies which were collected by Gregory the First, in 
the sixth century, were not much different from those in 
use by the Church of England to-day. 35 

Perhaps the greatest eulogy of all has been pronounced 
by the Congregational historian, Dr. Stoughton. He says 
that, "as the sources whence the book was compiled are 
so numerous and so ancient, belonging to Christendom in 
the remotest times, as there is in it so little that is really 
original, so little that belongs to the reformed Episcopal 
Church of England, any more than to other churches con- 
strained by conscience to separate from Rome the bulk 
of what the book contains, including all that is most beauti- 
ful and noble like hymns which, by whomsoever written, 

33 Ibid., p. 142. 

34 See Hardwick, History of the Christian Church, "The Reformation," 
2d ed., 1865, p. 260. 

35 History of the Church of Christ, Edinburgh, 1841, p. 414. 

PRAYER. 423 

are sung in churches of every name ought to be regarded 
as the rightful inheritance of any who believe in the essen- 
tial unity of Christ's Catholic Church, and can sympathize 
in the devotions of a Chrysostom, a Hilary, and an Am- 
brose." 36 

In the Bishop's Book known as the "Institution of a 
Christen Man" (Instruction of a Christian Man) issued 
during the reign of Henry VIII, there is an exceedingly 
beautiful paraphrastic exposition of the Lord's Prayer, 
which may be considered a notable instance of that spiritu- 
alization of worldly desires to which allusion has already 
been made. The passage is too long for quotation in full, 
but we select the following which may prove sufficient to 
denote its character: 

"Oh, our Heavenly Father, we beseech Thee give us 
this day our daily bread. Give us meat, drink and clothing 
for our bodies. Send us increase of corn, fruit and cattle. 
Give us health and strength, rest and peace, that we may 
lead a peaceful life in all godliness and honesty. . . .Give 
also Thy grace to us, that we have not too much solicitude 
and care for these transitory and unstable things, but that 
our hearts may be fixed in things which be eternal and in 
Thy Kingdom which is everlasting. . . .Give us grace, that 
we may be fed and nourished with all the life of Christ, 
that is to say, both His words and works; and that they 
may be to us an effectual example and spectacle of all 
virtues. Grant that all they that preach Thy word may 
profitably and godly preach Thee and Thy Son Jesus Christ 
through all the world; and that all we which hear Thy 
word preached may be so fed therewith that not only may 
we outwardly receive the same but also digest it within 
our hearts ; and that it may so work and feed every part of 
us, that it may appear in all the acts and deeds of our life." 37 

36 History of Religion in England, new ed., 1881, Vol. 3, p. 215. 

37 See J. H. Blunt, The Reformation of the Church of England, Vol. 1, 
1868, pp. 448-449. 


A passing reference at least must be made to the pray- 
ers contained in the Roman Catholic Service books, of a 
church which has perhaps been more misunderstood and 
misrepresented than any other world-wide faith. From the 
prayers at mass we select the following, which show the 
high ethical standard of her creed at its best. "O Lord. . 
. . Have mercy upon all heretics, infidels, and sinners ; bless 
and preserve all my enemies ; and as I freely forgive them 
the injuries they have done or mean to do to me, so do 
Thou in Thy mercy forgive me my offenses/' Or again, 
take the prayer where the penitent prays for a spiritual 
cleansing: "O Lord, who once didst vouchsafe to wash the 
feet of Thy disciples wash us also, we beseech Thee, O 
Lord; and wash us again not only our feet and hands, 
but our hearts, our desires and our souls, that we may be 
wholly innocent and pure." 

Can Protestant Christendom present to us anything 
more touchingly beautiful than the following ? At Puenta- 
del-Inca, between Argentina and Chili, and perched upon 
the highest pinnacle of the Great Andes, there is to be 
seen a colossal figure of Christo Redemtor Christ the 
Redeemer. Cast from bronze cannon taken from the 
arsenal at Buenos Ayres, and erected to celebrate the estab- 
lishment of peace between those two countries, it was be- 
queathed, not only to Argentina and to Chili, but to the 
whole world, that from that monument it might learn its 
lesson of universal peace. On its pedestal one may read: 
"Sooner shall these mountains crumble to dust than Argen- 
tineans and Chilians break the peace which at the feet of 
Christ they have sworn to maintain." 

At the opening ceremony the Archbishop of Argentina, 
Monsignor Espinosa, offered the following prayer so in- 
expressibly beautiful that one cannot refrain from quot- 
ing it in extenso\ 

"Lord, when my voice is silent, when my eyes cannot 

PRAYER. 425 

behold Thee, and my heart, already changed to dust, dis- 
appears with the remembrance of my existence, Thine 
image, represented in eternal bronze, shall be a perpetual 
offering on the highest pinnacle of Argentina. When the 
white snows shall close the path to men, permit that my 
spirit may keep vigil at the foot of this mountain. Protect, 
Lord, our country. Ever give us faith and hope. Let our 
first inheritance be the peace which shall bear fruit and 
let its fine example be its greatest glory, so that the souls 
of those who have known Thee shall be able to bring forth 
from Thee all forms of blessing for the two Americas. 
Amen." 38 

This noble petition may well form a fitting close to our 
review of the invocations of civilized and of barbaric man. 
Having passed under examination the attitude both of 
civilized and uncultured man toward the Unseen, as illus- 
trated to us by examples of his petitions and prayers, we 
are now in a position to form an estimate as to their moral 

As we have said, the study of a religion can no longer 
be claimed as the exclusive business of the theologian or 
the divine. A new science has dawned the science of 
mankind and with it, that mantle which formerly rested 
upon the shoulders of its Elijah, has fallen upon those of 
the Son of Shaphat. Therefore, it is for science now to 
estimate religious values, to measure all moral worth, and 
it is not too much to say that her verdict will be in accord- 
ance with nature's laws. Like all her sister sciences, the 
science of ethnology recognizes law everywhere, no less in 
the prayers of man than in those starry realms far beyond 
his unaided ken. 

Prof. Max Miiller once declared that he who knows 
but one religion knows none. With equal truth it may be 
said that he who scorns the religion of others is not himself 

38 Percy F. Martin, F.R.G.S., Through Five Republics, 1905, pp. 358-359. 


religious. The day of the scoffer, of him who jeered and 
held to contempt the faith of another, has passed away. 
Scientific men at least have too great a respect for nature 
herself to jibe and jeer at those things which, after all, 
they may not understand. All they do claim is that all 
knowledge and experience shall be subjected to the same 
method for investigation, whether it be the study of a piece 
of granite, or the interpretation of a prayer. 

Just as the exposition of certain "spiritual phenomena" 
at the hands of Christian theologians is not necessarily in 
accordance with religion itself in its highest aspects, so the 
explanation of the phenomena of nature by scientific men 
is not necessarily "science" in itself. For example, some 
theologians tell us that the answer to prayer is a process 
of violation of natural law. "The general providence of 
God acts through what are called the laws of nature. By 
his particular providence, God interferes with these laws/' 3 
In opposition to this particular theologic doctrine, the stu- 
dent of nature holds that, so far as human experience is 
concerned, all phenomena subjective and objective must 
be interpreted in accordance with natural law. So far as 
his knowledge reaches, nature never discards her own laws, 
for if she could set them aside she would cease to be natural. 
Therefore, if the act of prayer possesses any value to man 
at all, it is from man himself, as part of nature, that one 
must obtain an answer. The appeal must be to the natural, 
not to the supernatural ; it must be based upon human ex- 
perience, not upon human supposition. 

There is definite reason to believe, outside all super- 
natural explanation, that the art of prayer and the desires 
that prayer itself inculcated, is as necessary a part of the 
psychological evolution of man as any other process of 
nature. 40 In itself the act is an outcome of an ethical law 

38 See Hook, Church Dictionary, 6th ed., 1852, art. "Prayer." 
40 See (Sir) E. W. Brabrooks' "Anniversary Address," Annual Address 
Anthropological Institute, 1898. /. A. L, Vol. 27. 

PRAYER. 427 

of the highest order, and is only foolish and inconsistent 
when it becomes a mere jumble of impossible requests. 

In its higher manifestations it creates in the mind of the 
supplicant moral feeling and desire of the highest char- 
acter, exciting him to attain those spiritual ends of which 
his feelings are but the expression. As Lecky has so well 
put it : 'The man who offers up his petitions with passionate 
earnestness, with unfaltering faith, and with a vivid reali- 
zation of the presence of an Unseen Being, has arisen to 
a condition of mind which is itself eminently favorable 
both to his own happiness and to the expansion of his moral 
qualities/' 41 

Man recognizes as a universal law that certain results 
follow certain acts be they good or be they bad as sure 
as night follows day. The naked savage knows instinc- 
tively as it were, that if his actions follow a certain course, 
certain ills may befall him. While the reason the savage 
gives in explanation may be a superstitious reason, and 
therefore no reason or explanation at all, still we cannot 
fail to discern a natural law which, whatever its origin 
in the native's mind may be, is nevertheless productive of 
ethical results. It is for this reason that uncontaminated 
primitive man is a moral man as nature herself hath 
willed. He holds that calamity and disease, fire and flood, 
are punishments sent in some way or other because of 
wrong-doing. He believes that nature is angry with him, 
therefore by his acts he desires and attempts to appease 
her. While it is true that nature may not show her anger 
in the way that uncultured man thinks, there is more in 
this recognition than one might deem. 

In a theological work published quite recently, it has 
been declared that "the scientific student knows nature is 
not angry and does not require appeasement." 42 As a mat- 

41 History of European Morals, 1894, Vol. 1, p. 36. 

42 "Concerning Prayer," art. by the Rev. Harold Anson, M.A., 1916, p. 83. 


ter of mere fact, the "scientific student" knows nothing of 
the kind; rather he has reason to believe that nature is 
angry, angry because certain of her laws have been thrust 
aside, and that she has replaced them by other laws, not less 
natural, but which produce disease. "The sins of the fa- 
thers" and the results thereof, are no less a process of 
natural law than is the unconscious act of the falling apple 
a law of gravitation. Even the savage recognizes this, 
hence his abstention from doing certain acts which are pro- 
hibited to him by ancient custom. 

For hundreds of years in Christian lands, it has been 
considered an incontrovertible truth that suffering and 
calamity are punishments sent by God. In the work just 
quoted a work in which the lack of modern prayer is 
bewailed, we are told that religion has contributed much 
to immorality by speaking of suffering and calamity as a 
judgment imposed by God upon sin, for God does not im- 
pose the consequence of evil. 43 This is a most remarkable 
pronouncement, a pronouncement which shows the position 
to which recent theologic thought has been driven. The 
old Hebrew prophet knew life better when he declared that 
God created the evil as well as the good. 44 Substitute the 
word "Nature" for "God" and we have the clearly denned 
position of the man of science. But while we are content 
to leave to the theologian the interpretation of the mind 
and the acts of God, so far as modern science is concerned, 
there can be no possible doubt but that suffering and calam- 
ity are in many cases imposed upon man by nature, as a 
consequence of ill-doing. 

When a man prays, he asks to be taken by the hand 
and led away from destruction, so that he may prosper 
and the right prevail. Modern psychology has shown that 
the creation of ideals in the human mind leads by a natural 

43 Ibid., art. by Arthur C. Turner, M.A., p. 428. 

44 Isaiah, xlv. 7. 

PRAYER. 4 2 9 

process to the desire to attain those ideals. 45 Prayer feeds 
that desire and so leads to their ultimate attainment. 

We have pointed out the fundamental difference that 
exists between the prayer of great religions like Christian- 
ity and Islam, and the prayer of some of the lower races 
of mankind. While the former supplicants pray that they 
may possess all the great moral qualities, and that their life 
and character may be moulded so as to produce the noblest 
and the highest result, the latter ask, in the majority of 
instances, for those things which add to their material well- 
being. By examples we have shown that, though the mate- 
rial factor is constantly present in the higher religions, 
still it is spiritualized in the highest possible way. 

Mankind at large has many lessons yet to learn; not 
the least of these is the serious recognition of that law of 
nature \yhich goes under the name of "evolution." 

Among all "civilized" peoples, there is a growing ten- 
dency to forsake that narrow path their forefathers trod, 
and to divert their course to that broad way which, as we 
were formerly taught, leadeth to destruction. To-day 
science can only emphasize this truth our forebears taught 

Looking around we find man bent upon destruction 
everywhere waging iconoclastic wars of all descriptions. 
He topples over old idols some of them foolish ones may- 
be and erects in their place idols more hideous than ex- 
isted before. He destroys that which the past itself held 
to be bad with that which the past knew to be good. 
He attempts to substitute the "gospel of hatred" for the 
"gospel of peace and good will" as a "new way to righteous- 
ness." 4 He flings "overboard law, religion and author- 

45 See Ribot, Psychology of the Emotions, 2d ed., 1911. 

46 "We preach the Gospel of Hatred, because in the circumstances it seems 
the only righteous thing we can preach." Leatham quoted by Sir William E. 
Cooper, C.I.E., Socialism and its Perils, 1908, pp. 33-302. 


ity," 47 to give us in place thereof a society where atheism 
and anarchy are supreme, and where the family exists no 
more! 48 Man is thus attempting to divert nature's course 
to lead her into paths of his own devising; nevertheless, 
whatever theologians may now teach, it will be with nature 
herself that man will have to reckon and whose bill he 
will have to pay upon her just demand. 

The pronounced evils of our day envy and hatred, 
malice and greed, no less than war and pestilence have 
ever been the result of evil-thinking and evil-speaking ; our 
forefathers were not so far wrong after all when they held 
that these were punishments, and that war followed in their 
trail. Were an analysis to be attempted as to the origin of 
many great wars, it would be found that they were brought 
about by the greed of man and by the desire to obtain that 
to which the offender had no right. The story would be 
that of Naboth's vineyard over and over again. It is from 
disasters such as these that it is the duty of the Christian 
to pray, so that his desire may become the father of acts 
which will frustrate those ends to which his greed would 
otherwise lead. 

There are other great evils beside those of war and of 
greed. He who manifests ridicule and attempts to bring 
into* contempt those beliefs held sacred by others, has his 
own lesson to learn. Toleration is the one great virtue 
which the West may well learn from the East. Even the 
naked savage never ridicules the religious beliefs of his 

47 Prince Krapotkin, quoted by G. W. Tunzelmann, The Superstition 
Called Socialism, 1911, p. 108. 

48 Congress held in London, July 14-19, 1881. "Resolved that all revolu- 
tionaries be united into an International Revolutionary Association, to affect 
a social revolution, money to be collected to purchase poison and weapons, 
ministers of state, the nobility, clergy and capitalists to be annihilated." See 
E. V. Zenker, Anarchism, transl. from the German (1898, p. 231). 

"In the new moral world, the irrational names of husband and wife, parent 
and child, will be heard no more." Robert Owen, quoted by Sir W. E. Cooper, 
loc. cit., p. 41. 

It has been stated that a large number of Labor M.P.'s have been or are 
local preachers of anarchism. See Peter Latouche's Methods and Aims of 
Anarchism, 1908, p. 14. 

PRAYER. 431 

fellows ; it is a besetting sin, not of savage, but of Christian 

To live aright, man must conserve, not destroy. He 
must once again learn to "leave undone those things which 
he ought not to have done," and "do those things which he 
ought to have done/' for Nature herself insists. 

Were modern science asked for one final word, surely 
it w r ould be this: If to pray means to create and nourish 
in our minds those thoughts and aspirations whereby we 
may live a "righteous and sober life" and not follow the 
"devices and desires of our own hearts," then she would 

Pray that our actions may be so shaped that they con- 
form to Nature's will : that she may be our protector, not 
our avenger; pray that all erroneous teachings those 
superstitions of to-day which arouse the passions of the 
hustings MAY CEASE! 

To the Christian especially she would say Pray ye 
in the spirit and in like manner of that old Catholic saint 
who told you that, 

"You were made Christians to this end, that you may 
always do the works of Christ ; that is, that you love chas- 
tity, avoid lewdness and drunkenness, maintain humility and 
detest pride, because our Lord Christ both showed humility 
by example and taught it by forwards, saying, 'Learn of 
Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find 
rest for your souls.' It is not enough for you to have re- 
ceived the name of Christians if you do not do Christian 
works, for a Christian is he who does not hate anybody, 
but loves all men as himself, who does not render evil to 
his enemies, but rather prays for them ; who does not stir 
up strife, but restores peace to those who are at variance." 49 

To those, whatever their creed may be, who are unable 

49 Homily of Caesarius, Bishop of Aries, attributed to St. Eligius, quoted 
by Dr. Maitland, The Dark Ages, 5th ed., 1890, pp. 134-139. 


to share those thoughts which others revere, she would 
say : Let us not forget how very little our exact knowledge 
really is and remember that there may still be many more 
things than we wot of. Pray therefore that you may sym- 
pathize where you cannot understand ; for what matters it 
if some tread a devious path, so long as nature wills? 

Lastly, she would ask all mankind with its divers an- 
tagonistic creeds, with its love and its hate, its war and its 
peace, its weal and its woe to turn to that great figure in 
bronze, which tops the heights of the Volcanic Andes 
that sublime symbol not of the peace that is, but of the 
peace that ought to be and in the silence of those now 
quiescent rocks, say with Shelley: 

"Join then your hands and heart, and let the past 

Be as a grave, which gives not up its dead 
To evil thoughts." 50 

So that all storm and strife, and sobs and tears may cease, 
and a new era dawn, where Nirvana that "peace which 
passeth all understanding" shall reign, and where, once 

" 'neath the sky 

All that is beautiful shall abide, 
All that is base shall die!"" 


50 Revolt of Islam. 

31 R. Buchanan, Balder the Beautiful 


IT may be of interest to consider some of the relative 
claims of rationalism and voluntarism, that real and 
explicit antithesis of recent times, whether we regard either 
theory in full or extreme form as satisfactory or not. Nei- 
ther of them is, in fact, satisfactory in any absolute or ex- 
clusive sense. Their consideration is the more necessary 
as extreme forms of voluntarism are by no means rare in 
the thought of to-day. There is no need in doing so, to 
forget that, in every psychosis, there will be elements or 
rudiments of feeling, willing, and thinking, though one of 
these may have a dominating influence. Rationalism stands 
for thinking, as the great form or mode of realizing con- 
scious content. That is to say, the essential activity of 
mental life is for it thought or ideation. Rationalism is 
concerned with logical priority rather than with the ques- 
tion of genesis, hence it here stands aside from psychology 
though I do not mean to leave it untouched which is 
concerned with genetic order. The logical priority of 
thought thought-activity as the absolute prius of the 
world is the maintenance of rationalism. For in no other 
way can you get the world as a world of meaning. Neither 
blind feeling nor blind will can yield such. But thought; 
standing by itself, does not suffice to create a world. 

Pure thought needs the supplementing of will. That is 
the defect of rationalism. Will is not moved by reason alone, 
thought Hume, for he subjects reason to the feelings, as 
some still do. His stress on passion fails of justice to 


reason. A further defect or mistake of rationalism has 
been to undervalue the senses. But experience is too exi- 
gent for the tendency to neglect or underrate the senses to 
be wise. The part played by sense in experience-processes 
is too important to be overlooked without impoverishment. 
Thought can come to its own without countenancing this 
mistaken tendency. Thought, as we know it, never does 
exist severed or divorced from feeling and will. That is 
not to say that thought or reason may not have a dom- 
inance, a logical priority, a primacy of rank. That is quite 
another matter from time priority. The time primacy 
claimed* for feeling by some phychologists is denied by 
rationalism in respect of any feeling-consciousness taken 
as pure or wholly without rudimentary representation, real 
however latent. Representation in some sort must be 
taken to precede feeling feeling as accompanying sensa- 

But, if we distinguish these two, I should take feeling 
as purely subjective, and sensation as carrying an objective 
reference or element. This, although certain German phi- 
losophers hold all sensations of subjective origin. The 
unity of sensation, for Rosmini, was intelligence. Not 
much help is vouchsafed by Hoffding's rather vague defi- 
nition of feeling as "an inner illumination which falls on 
the stream of sensations and ideas/' Feeling is often re- 
garded or treated only as it springs from the stimuli in 
sensational experience. Thought supervenes on such sen- 
sation ; and in this usage of feeling, my next remark holds 
good of it; feeling wholly without presentation or idea 
must be valueless for action. That is not to deny the dom- 
inance of feeling that may exist in certain cases or stages. 
But that is not the case where reflection is developed, for 
there the idea or the presentational element is supreme. 
"In tal modo," says an Italian writer, "1'attivita del sen- 
tire progredisce dall'mterno all'esterno" (N. R. D' Alfonso, 


Piccola Psicologia, Rome, 1917, p. 30). For our knowl- 
edge of the external world, sensations are to be followed, 
not despised. But reason is the organ for the supreme 
discovery of truth. 

Voluntarism stands for the primacy of will or some 
form or mode of effort-consciousness. It takes will to be 
the source and the sustaining power of mental life. It may 
be blind will or impulse, as in Schopenhauer; it may take 
the form of impulse and idea in synthesis as exemplified 
in Lotze and in Wundt, although Lotze may be held to 
recognize too much more than one fundamental mind- 
function for a real voluntarist; or it may begin with the 
idea, but hold, as in Royce, that the idea appears in con- 
sciousness as an act of will. Touching what has just been 
said of Lotze, it is he who has said, for example, that all 
the acts of daily life never demand "a distinct impulse of 
the will," but are "adequately brought about by the pure 
flux of thought." Lotze veers, indeed, from a rationalistic 
mode of thought toward positivist tendency or direction. 
On genetic grounds, of course, voluntarism will have much 
to say for itself hence Paulsen and Wundt have striven 
to set it upon a psychological basis since, in the matter 
of time, early or rudimentary forms of consciousness will 
be largely blind or impulsive in nature. Paulsen accord- 
ingly makes impulse the basal function of the inner life. 
More generally, I may remark the very unscientific and 
unwarranted tendency of voluntaristic psychology to found 
itself on "conation" in ways whereby that term has been 
stretched far beyond anything consciousness can sanction 
as processes really volitional in character. 

But the weakness of voluntarism lies in the fact that 
not even the earliest forms of Trieb, impulse, or feel- 
ing-will, can be admitted to be without germinal repres- 
entation or rudimentary thought. We must think of some 
undifferentiated whole, out of which the various mental 


powers, or characteristics, evolve, instead of assuming 
will as the base of a gradual intelligence. We must 
take account of the progressive embodiment of reason to 
be found in all sentient life. We must hold to internal 
structure in such wise that the psychosis is not the abso- 
lutely simple thing it is sometimes supposed to be. Binet 
has declared that psychic manifestations are much more 
complex than is supposed, even in the lowest scales of 
animal life. Schopenhauer sets his world of feeling-will 
over against reason or thought, but his Trieb or impulse 
is not really will in any proper or developed sense, and is 
not exclusive of feeling. In fact, the ground of life, which 
Schopenhauer chose to call the will in all things, was in 
reality something psychologically so chaotic, that no world 
could have come of it that was not irrational and meaning- 
less. Nietzsche made voluntarism the underlying moment 
of his psychology of religion. For a central experience of 
will is what he always seeks, as affording a measure in 
the direction of religious metaphysic. But of the will- 
theories of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, it is to be said 
that the will, properly conceived, never acts blindly or 
without reason, which latter is, in fact, the determining 
factor of mental life, since it enlightens and directs the 
activity of the will. 

The world of appetitions, to which, since the time of 
Leibniz, the term will has, in inexact and even mytho- 
logical fashion, been applied, does not constitute the realm 
of will at all. For, obviously, there can be no proper will- 
ing without an idea of something that is willed. The 
qualitative constancy which Wundt has sought in the will 
as compared with ideas and with feeling is too abstract 
and mythical an affair to be psychologically satisfactory. 
The fault of a radical voluntarism, like that of Fichte, is 
that in it pure will regards itself as an end, and wills 
merely for the sake of willing. It is, for it, not a case of 


objects, but of willing itself absolute will, cloaked as a 
natural impulse to independence. Clumsy and confused is 
the way in which Fichte tells us that "reason is reason/' 
and in the same breath insists that "the will is the living 
principle of reason is itself reason." The truth is, rea- 
son or thought is by him subordinated to will or our striving 
energies, in unwarrantable voluntaristic fashion: will is 
made antecedent to knowledge. But this idea of absolute 
will is unsatisfactory, in that it only too easily becomes a 
detached and unrealized ideal, arbitrarily viewing every- 
thing as a mere expression of its will. It is a case of the 
transcendentalism of will overleaping itself, and vaulting 
the heavens. This brings us to note the absurdity of vol- 
untarism in taking, as the chief characteristic of life's 
mental powers, something which is found in complete abey- 
ance as life reaches its highest. For in hours of pure 
thought, or in seasons of calm esthetic contemplation, it 
cannot be ignored how disinterested is thought, nor can 
it be pretended that anything like actual or conscious 
willing is anything but absent, in both cases. This is all 
that is then evidenced of Royce's true but irrelevant saying 
that "our will is always dramatic in its expressions" (The 
Problem of Christianity, Vol. II, p. 297). Yet voluntar- 
ism thinks it congruous to make this sleeping partner figure 
as the most distinctive, and indeed the all-devouring factor 
in our mental life. It is extreme, and straining experience, 
to say of such times, like Hoffding, that "we must will to 
see, in order to see aright." That, of course, is not meant 
to imply that will is not present. 

What Royce calls his "absolute voluntarism" begins 
with the idea, but immediately asserts that the idea appears 
in consciousness as an act of will. This seems a somewhat 
hasty and violent psychological treatment of the idea, al- 
most reminding one of Condillac's, when he made the idea 
a sensation representative of something, in spite of their 


difference being one of kind : my ideas, as ideas, are ideas, 
and not just anything else you please. It might surely 
have sufficed to make ideas also aims and ideals : they are 
not yet acts of will. But that would not satisfy Royce's 
mystical pan-egoistic epistemology, and so his rather cha- 
otic voluntaristic psychology declares that "the idea is a 
will seeking its own determination." "Ideas are thinkable 
but absolutely unknowable/' a writer has said, in the sense 
of knowledge as ordinarily understood. And "every idea," 
said Rosmini (in his work On the Origin of Ideas}, is 
"universal and necessary." In another connection, Royce 
has said, less objectionably, that "the motives of an idea 
are practical, and the constituents of an idea are either 
the data of perception, or the conceptual processes whereby 
we characterize or predict or pursue such data" (The Prob- 
lem of Christianity, Vol. II, pp. 181-182). The ideas 
appear to be really, at most "proposals for volition," as 
the case has been put, and the idea must be selected, as 
Bradley says, by something which is not an idea ; they may 
thus become idea-forces, as Fouillee termed them; but the 
primacy of the idea is not to be obscured or lost sight of, 
even though its intellectual functioning is not to be dis- 
joined from the volitional and emotional activities which it 
mediates and determines. The dominance of the idea in 
consciousness is the primary fact with which we are here 
concerned, and one which cannot be filched away by volun- 
taristic violence. This primacy can be maintained without 
giving the intellectual ideas or terms any too abstract air 
or character. But let the idea vanish, and what will be- 
come of motive-feeling and volitional impulse? The par- 
ticularity of sensation, and the universality of the idea, 
need not be forgotten. Even in stages where, psychologists 
say, sensation dominates, it might be worthy of better re- 
membrance that we become aware of the presence of a 
sensation only through thinking. Not sensations, but our 


thought of them, is what differentiates us from the animal 
creation. Sensation is concrete and particular, while thought 
always carries an element of universality. Where there 
are sensations, there, said Rosmini, the primitive syn- 
thesis is made by the mind in a spontaneous manner. And 
(in his work on Logic) Rosmini differentiated intelligence 
from sensation in a meritorious manner. "No other fac- 
ulty/' said he, "except the understanding, has for its term 
an object." This last is intuited, but, to know this, he 
maintains, there must be an act of reflection upon the in- 
tuition. Therein the understanding is different from the 
feeling. For "the felt is not object but simple term, and 
the faculty of feeling has not the essential property of the 
faculty of understanding." Rosmini thus avoids the con- 
fusions as to sense which marked Aristotle, Kant, and 
others of more recent date. Feeling, as Rosmini insists, 
is made up of that which feels and of that which is felt, 
and intellective perception is not to be confounded with 
feeling, since feeling in this sense must "precede the act 
of thought which observes it." It is not to be forgotten 
that, as Stout is pleased to put the matter, sensation exists 
in, as well as for, the mind (Manual of Psychology, p. 209) , 
although this requires some further explication to render 
it quite satisfactory. 

Reason remains a power perceptive, regulative, dynam- 
ical the concrete unity of our organized mental energy. 
It is by virtue of this dynamic reason that we act in free- 
dom. Freedom is a necessity of the purpose-positing activ- 
ity of intelligence. That means the freedom of the reason- 
able will, not the blind voluntaristic will that treats reason 
as its bond-servant. The reasonable will rules the feeling- 
life and the impulse-life in the quest of its concrete ideal. 
Not even the appeal of Rousseau to inward feeling or 
sentiment was free of considerable elements of ratiocina- 
tion. True, in his unsystematic way, he could say that 


ideas came from without, and that sentiments sprang up 
within the soul. But he did not completely disjoin them, 
there being, in his view, senses in which "ideas are senti- 
ments, and sentiments are ideas." But he sometimes joined 
the sentiments to reason, treating them as its necessary 
completion. For, with all his insistence upon the "heart," 
he uses sentiment in a way which does not always exclude 
cognitive elements. Still, there is in Rousseau the tend- 
ency to make the sentimental outweigh the rational, al- 
though it cannot be said that the sentimental was, in him, 
void of reference to reason, or always destitute of theoretic 
thought. The importance of feeling, however, is not to 
be underestimated, since it reflects the ethical quality of 
the person or represents the personality in its immediate 
self-consciousness. Ribot has represented a revolt against 
intellectualist theory here, freeing feeling from dependence 
on presentation, and treating it as an original state, and it 
may be allowed that the intellectualist theory was often 
unduly pressed. At the same time Hoffding is right in 
holding that cognitive elements are already present, and 
do not simply arise out of formless and primitive feeling, 
as is seen in the early calling forth of memory in connec- 
tion with early pleasure and pain experiences. 

Hume had already given high place to feeling or pas- 
sion, for what was taken to be the determination of the 
will by reason, Hume regarded as really its determination 
by calmer or more tranquil feelings. His rejection of the 
primacy of will was, of course, unsatisfactory, being in 
favor of a species of impression : reason was by him made 
subject to the feelings. Dr. Bradley does vastly better in 
his Essays on Truth and Reality in rejecting "in any form 
the primacy of will" (p. 96). He rightly contends that 
"bare will is no will," and that "will involves not only 
perception but also idea," which he finds "hard to reconcile 
with a secondary position of intelligence." I have myself 


in a large work, entitled A Philosophical System of Theistic 
Idealism (Blackwood, 1917), not only opposed voluntar- 
ism and taken reasonable will to be the only true idea of 
will, but have shown the straits of voluntarism, and its 
baleful influences in recent philosophical thought and phi- 
losophy of religion. In this I have ranged myself, but on 
independent grounds, with Meumann and other continental 
thinkers who stand for the primacy of intelligence. An 
all-controlling will, at whose demand alone all reason, no 
less than all value, can have any being, in the manner 
there shown, can only yield a very bald and unsatisfying 
psychology, one which is utterly impotent to do any man- 
ner of justice to reason. In taking reasonable will will 
enlightened by prevenient reason to be the only true idea 
of will, I hold, like Bradley, idea to be essential to. will. 
I take, equally with him, the notion of the idea being often 
the creature of a blind impulse to be quite inconclusive 
(Mind, 1902, p. 462). For impulse without consciousness 
of end is not will in any proper sense. If there has been 
no suggestion of idea, there has been no real willing. Dr. 
Bradley even speaks of the "monarchy" of the idea, and of 
the "single idea," all other ideas present in the volitional 
process being, in his view, subordinate or contributory to 
the "total idea." I should prefer to think more of the pri- 
macy of reason than of idea, taking the process to be more 
concrete, as a unity of reason. Reason views all in the 
unity of the idea, and it effects the needful fusion of ideas. 
Bradley's stress on one idea seems to me apt to make the 
volitional process appear rather thin and bald for all the 
facts. Even if we take volition to be "the self-realization 
of an idea with which the self is identified," such self- 
identification must be taken to imply that the volition is 
the act of my concrete self, in which the idea reigns. But 
it might be objected that ideas do not in the modifying 
light of evolution dominate and function in us in the 


detached and isolated manner which Bradley is apt to 
represent. They are set in the reason, which is a repre- 
sentative of the world-reason, and it is of a unity or totality 
of reason we have first of all to think. It is, however, 
desirable that the idea, as a psychical existent, should be 
as clear and distinct as possible. But stress on the willing 
must not be obscured. "In the end," says Bradley, "my 
union with the idea must remain essentially a felt union" 
(Mind, 1903, p. 152). And again, "volition is the identi- 
fication of my felt self with the idea" (ibid., 161). But 
this seems to me rather artificial, and separates the idea 
too much from the self, for the idea is already my idea; 
reason in me is a unified force, which goes out from the 
unity of the idea, and forms the totality of the idea of 
which Bradley speaks. Reason is the "I" itself indeed, 
which proves itself reasonable in the process, as the idea 
is taken up as a willing. Bradley denies that "desire and 
conation are to be found in all cases of will," and says that 
to make them the "bridge" in volition would be "absurdly 
deficient" (Mind, 1904, pp. 20-21). On both points I 
agree with him. Blind conations are not volition; mere 
desire is not will. He therefore abides by the view that 
will is not "original or ultimate," since the passage of an 
idea into existence is, for him, the essence of will. Varisco, 
too, holds it "essential to will" that it be "enlightened by 
cognition," and be "altogether one with cognition," but 
his attitude is less clear-cut and defined. There is, in my 
view, a lordship of reason in the entire process which leads 
to harmony, for the resultant whole is the unity of intelli- 
gence and will in the human consciousness. The impulse of 
reason toward unity is not satisfied until such unity is 
achieved. The content of reason is the ideal, the necessary, 
the universally valid. But the universality, Rosmini clearly 
laid down, is of the mind or the intelligence, and not in 
things or sensations ; we may not even speak, sensu stricto. 


of a universal idea, for not in their content, but in their 
applicability, are ideas universal. Ideas are singulars ; the 
qualities that belong to universality are given them by 

Thought has none of the particularization of sensa- 
tion : to think is to universalize. The idea is all-important 
to Rosmini, for it is the light of the mind, however impos- 
sible that it should be denned. It .will be seen that I take 
reason or intelligence to precede and determine the will, 
and the psychical activity involved to be fundamentally 
real ; the time relations connected therewith do not prevent 
or disturb me, for though time in some aspects and rela- 
tions is real, it is not ultimate, nor regnant in the realm 
of spirit. Thus I do not regard all inner psychic activity 
as in the end will-activity, for there are many psychic 
occurrences outside will-activity. I reject bare will, in all 
its arbitrariness, as the ultimate source, while not deny- 
ing, of course, how will-activity sticks fast in all thought. 
I am, of course, aware how it has been attempted to justify 
the statement that all psychic activity is will-activity, by 
seeking to distinguish an empirical-psychological volun- 
tarism from a metaphysical voluntarism, the latter par- 
taking of the universal character of metaphysic. But I 
am here only incidentally concerned with empiric volun- 
tarism, in which will is made to include or swallow up 
feelings and sensations, and impulses are taken as lower 
forms of will, and even made at times to figure as if they 
were pure will. But even when the distinction just made 
is observed, it does not follow that the empirical-psycholog- 
ical account of the development is never overweighted in 
its stress on will, when ideas or representations and feel- 
ings are all taken to be developed therefrom. I am myself 
sceptical of this account of the development, both as to its 
doing preludial justice to the representation or reason- 
elements in the process, and still more as to its being a 

/\/\/\ THE MONIST. 

satisfactory account of the relations found to exist between 
developed intelligence and developed will. It is only by 
abstraction that we can determine or fix upon the part 
played by all the individual psychic elements or factors in 
the process, and though the phenomena of will lend them- 
selves most easily to observation, it does not follow that 
justice has always been done to the potency of rational and 
feeling elements or moments likewise. I do not admit will, 
in its active efficiency, to be anything else than bound, in 
certain fundamental ways or principles, to representation 
and thought connections, and the question is, whether this, 
the more difficult and recondite part of the process, has 
been satisfactorily performed. I do not think it has. Will, 
of course, has had its development, just like every other 
psychic function, and besides will, there is at least always 
representation, if arbitrariness is to be shunned. For there 
is no pure activity, but only such as has been qualitatively 
determined by representation or content. The element of 
knowledge is an inseparable moment in consciousness, and 
it is not derivable from will. Not even the representations 
should be derived from will, when sensations and feelings 
are also present. 

Wundt's theory of "idea-object," as original datum of 
thought, might surely have led to more satisfactory issue 
touching the ideating forces. It seems to me not without 
arbitrariness that Wundt makes the will a standing ele- 
ment in knowledge in the way he has done, and treats 
the representations as accidental or contingent. His quali- 
tatively constant will is an untenable conception, and the 
standing thing is the self -identical subject, to whom the 
will belongs. Activity has no content save as belonging 
to such a concrete subject, of whom it is a manifestation. 
Talk of complexes and totalities of psychic elements is vain 
without this being recognized. Nor do I think it admis- 
sible because arbitrary and not true to experience to 


regard the manifoldness of the representations found in ex- 
perience, as bound into a unity only through will. This 
seems to me to indicate some failure to appreciate or realize 
the unifying force or activity in reason, which does not 
stand idly by will. 

If will is never bare will, never mere activity, but al- 
ways representing activity, there appears to me no adequate 
ground for blindly quenching or ignoring any rational ele- 
ments involved the unifying power or activity of reason 
in order to hypostatize will alone. Intellectual elements 
are already present with the representations; thought be- 
gins only with these last, not yet with concepts, which arise 
out of them ; in the original perceptions thought has already 
found the conditions for its exercise. But I had not meant 
to do more than make passing reference to empirical- 
psychological aspects. We must not forget that hypothet- 
ical metaphysical conceptions or ground principles must not 
be applied to, or exchanged with, empirical-psychological 
abstractions, in the treatment of reality. 

But empirical-psychological treatment is not therefore 
final, or above the need of criticism. Metaphysical volun- 
tarism, however, is my main present concern. Analysis of 
the concepts of the understanding and inquiry into the tran- 
scendent ideas, are a special care of metaphysics, whose 
fundamental principles are immanent in the impulse of 
human reason to knowledge. Pure will is to Wundt the 
end of the psychological regress, but pure will is merely 
an abstraction of metaphysical value in bringing into clear 
view the essence of absolute being. To make, in the Wundt- 
ian style, the "inner impulses" the source of all need for 
thought is no satisfactory theory of our mental life or 
personality; nor do we recognize as will what acts blindly, 
without reason, or motives, or reflection. 

On the other hand, the rationalism which we oppose to 
one-sided voluntarism is not one in which there is a mere 


ens rationis, but a subject with the characters of concrete- 
ness and individuality. The subject must have a content, 
original and individual, and not independently of external 
relations, the external world being its necessary correla- 
tive; as Wundt says, "a consciousness without objects is an 
empty abstraction." When the voluntarist tells us the many 
mighty things wrought by will, he is apt to forget that will 
essentially implies cooperation of the individual and con- 
crete subject, whereas reason can be conceived without such 
subjective reference, as capable of being embodied, objec- 
tively and universally, in laws or in relational systems 
standing by themselves ( Cf . F. de Sarlo, // Concetto dell' 
Anima nella Psicologia Contemporanea, Florence, 1900, 
pp. 33-34). It is not surprising that Mr. A. F. Shand 
should say that "the profoundest introspection will not 
show us the universal character of will" (Mind, 1897, p. 
325). But the varied and different types of will need not 
keep us, for all that, from saying with Ladd that "willing 
is of essentially one kind" (Philosophy of Knowledge, p. 

To treat of synthesis without an individuality, of spon- 
taneity without an individual subject, in Wundt's fashion, 
can never be satisfactory in result. The psychic elements 
and functions owe their efficacy and worth to their seat in 
the real subject, however we may try to abstract them for 
supposedly scientific purposes. There is no very convincing 
reason why the treatment should deprive itself of concrete- 
ness and lucidity, by trying to dispense with, or ignore, a 
real subject. Of course, the procedure is intelligible enough, 
in its desire to avoid older modes of thought in which the 
soul or subject was viewed too substantially rather than 
potentially, too much as something given rather than some- 
thing formed, but the avoidance of wrong ways of regard- 
ing the subject does not necessitate vain attempts to elim- 
inate an abiding, self -identical subject as persisting through 


experience. The facts of unity, coherence, continuity, iden- 
tity, and evolution, in mental life or personality, are, other- 
wise, not adequately covered or dealt with. The psychic 
acts or facts by which we live are not so sufficient unto 
themselves as Wundt would make it appear, and the re- 
duction of everything to will-activity is far from satisfying. 

Dr. Stout has made the significant admission that it is 
"the cognitive side of our character which gives determi- 
nate character to the conative." But what we have already 
seen of the attempt to set out the psychological origin, 
nature, and growth, of this cognitive side, has been by no 
means promising or satisfactory, for it has been mainly 
in terms of that which is not cognition. In the end we are 
driven pretty much to let cognition certify itself. Not even 
Wundt's position that the active mental representation or 
Vorstcllung is originally identical with the object can be 
sustained. Cognition w^ould be defeated by the object being 
so identified with the representing subject. 

Wundt says thinking is willing, and so distinguished a 
thinker as Ladd remarks that this is "admirably" said. 
But is it so admirable? If the thinking is not a willing 
per se, it seems to me only a needless confusion. One does 
not deny the presence of a will-element in thinking, but 
the thinking is still thinking, and is not, so far as it is 
thought, to be called willing without a misuse of language. 
At least I am rationalist enough to think so. I am not 
unmindful, in saying this, that Bradley whom I greatly 
honor in spite of some deep divergences from him has 
said, properly enough, that will and thought are implicated 
the one with the other (Appearance and Reality, p. 474) ; 
but he has also said, less desirably, that "the same psychical 
state is indifferently will or thought, according to the side 
from which you view it" (ibid., 468). Surely the facts can 
have justice done to them without countenancing so many 
terminological inexactitudes of this sort in psychology as 


a "science." In no other "science" are clearness and dis- 
tinction at such a discount. 

The dependence of will on thought or idea, and the de- 
pendence of thought on will, can surely be recognized with- 
out blindly identifying them. It is only "to a certain ex- 
tent," says Bradley, they are essentially one, but they are 
"not two clear functions in unity," which may be granted; 
but, granting this partial fusion or identity, their diver- 
gence is the thing that waits for explanation. This Dr. 
Bradley does not attempt, but is content to urge that neither 
thought nor will is primary and ultimate. What he fails 
to bring out is the unity of human personality, the unity 
of consciousness, in which feeling, thinking, and willing 
are three sufficiently fundamental modes of expression. 
Ideation maybe a process given to consciousness, and think- 
ing a more self-conscious and selective affair, but, though 
there may be a teleology of thinking, and though will may 
enter as a moment in the thinking process, yet thinking is 
still distinctively of the nature of thinking, and not willing 
or anything else. 

There need be no failure to appreciate the part played 
by the will-element in thinking as a discriminating and 
relating activity, in so maintaining the distinctively rational 
character of the thinking process, even when it is the 
"sinewy thought" of stressful life. I reject, in like manner, 
the position of those who, like Bradley, treat thought as 
unreal, and make it consist of feeling transformed. Thought 
is still thought, and not feeling, though they are, of course, 
inseparably joined in the unity of consciousness or knowl- 

Willing, too, is unique, and not resolvable into thought 
or feeling. I have declined to run the whole primary con- 
sciousness back into pure will-activity, but in that early 
stage, though presentation or the knowledge-term was 
present, intelligence may very well have been so far under 


the dominating influence of will and feeling elements as 
not to have attained any real independence. The presenta- 
tive faculty may well have needed growth and development 
before cognition came to anything like independence and 
mastery. The process was a complex one, and must not 
be too abstractly conceived in the cognitive interest, with- 
out consideration of feeling and volitional factors. But 
when the distinctively cognitive supremacy was at length 
gained, the idea or the presentational element took the place 
of clear control, which rationalism claims for it, over all 
else. Will-activity I have not taken to be the ultimate 
thing, for that activity appears to be only a mode of real- 
izing some condition of consciousness which is not of the 
nature of will. 

In the developed subject it is that knowing and feeling 
and willing find their deepest point of unity, or the final 
ground of their hanging together, however one or the other 
may have at one time been found predominating. This is 
the Gesammt-Ich or total-ego, a personal unity. There is 
in such a subject an identity of knowing and willing I 
mean, in the unity of consciousness or the personality. And 
it is, as I have already pointed out, not with the genetic 
point of view we are really concerned, but with the meta- 
physics of consciousness as here and now developed. In 
this consciousness relation, the voluntarist cannot be al- 
lowed to hypostatize the will-element alone, while the ra- 
tionalist claims to do so for the knowledge-element also, 
and the primacy indeed of the idea, the perception, is the 
contention of the latter. For there is certainly something 
absurd in the idea of volition without any idea on the part 
of the wilier of the end or thing to be willed. 

A voluntary act includes, among other things, a volition 
or determination to bring about a particular result. Even 
Miinsterberg holds an idea of the result to be brought about 
an essential factor in voluntary action. In volition there is 


always an idea seeking realization. Volition is sufficiently 
complex to require both presentation and feeling. But the 
transition from idea to realization is not effected so simply 
as might be supposed, or without extraneous considerations 
and connections. And, again, in the case of cognition, no 
combination of ideating-processes and no theory of ideas, 
will suffice to yield cognition. The processes are, as I have 
insisted, all bound up, both in the case of thought and in 
that of will, in the personal unity of individual life or con- 
sciousness. But in the complex called consciousness, the 
primacy of the idea is, to rationalism, to be maintained, for 
to it belongs the power of initiative, but this primacy of in- 
telligence is not exercised without mediation of the feeling 
and willing factors. For a purely thinking consciousness 
would be an utter unreality and abstraction. 

The relations of thinking and willing w r ith which I have 
just been dealing belong to consciousness itself, which lat- 
ter admits of no explanation that does not presuppose that 
very consciousness. The inner connection of the various 
contents of consciousness is indubitable. But the synthesis 
of elements which goes to form consciousness or personal- 
ity is one which has never yet been explained. This con- 
ception of personality is of central importance for psychol- 
ogy, and calls for more explicit recognition than Bradley 
has given to it. For what we plainly are called to do is to 
give more rational character to the relation of the single 
elements even the non-intellectual ones whereof it is 
composed. And to the thought or knowledge element this 
task of imparting greater rationality is difficult enough, 
for it is involved in being itself, which is also in process of 

As Hoffding, in dealing with the "Problems of Philos- 
ophy," has said, "it is a strange contradiction in the grand 
rationalistic systems, that, although they may be able to 
explain everything else, yet they are powerless to explain 


the striving laboring nature of the thought which produces 
them." And should it be, as he remarks later, that "the 
empire of Being may be much vaster than the possibilities 
of our experience," the limitations to our complete rational- 
ity of view come into sight. For all that, it is the business 
of reason or the speculative activity to follow on to the 
furthest limits possible, so that thought and being may 
grow always more approximately one. In doing so, thought 
must not be regarded as a purely subjective activity, or 
isolated from its objects and their relations. For, as Riehl 
has remarked, in these objective relations "there must be 
something analogous to the activity of thought, something 
corresponding to the form of this activity, else this activity 
could not arise" (Science and Metaphysics, ed. by A. Fair- 
banks, p. 306). 

I am an ideating self and a willing self, but I am a 
willing self because, and after, I am an ideating self : the 
connection, however, may be as swift and intimate as you 
please. But my ideas are certainly present, as rationalism 
contends, before they are actualized by will. They do not 
wait on will demand, as voluntarism contends. Nor is 
their actualization a pure matter of idea and accordant 
volition, for being other than the idea or the volition is in- 
volved in the actualization, as Ladd has clearly shown in 
his Theory of Reality (pp. 482-483). 

In the light of all I have advanced, the view of Wundt 
adopted by Kulpe which regards apperception and will 
as ultimately one and the same function, is not at all satis- 
fying. Needlessly complicated, it is too emotional, the feel- 
ings being the spring of action and not the representation, 
and all the processes which are made up of feelings being 
taken to arise from volition as fundamental fact. Wundt 
says it is impossible to find out how a volition proceeds in 
any other way than by following it exactly as it is presented 


to us in immediate experience. I entirely agree, and it is 
on this precise ground that I reject his theory of it. 

Is it not surprising that Rehmke should have felt dis- 
satisfied with the uses made of the term Vorstellung in 
voluntaristic discussions. At one time you may find it 
stand for something given; at another time it means an 
inner activity or event ; in another instance it will serve for 
an image in us ; it does duty for the represented, but again 
for the representing; now it is superfluously styled con- 
scious, and now it is, in self-contradictory fashion, termed 
unconscious. And the apparently simple and easy theory 
of a blind, dull, senseless will which is supposed in volun- 
tarism to have first borne sway, and worked its way in the 
world up to self-consciousness, is by no means either easy 
or accountable, for how this unconscious comes to con- 
sciousness is never satisfactorily explained, at least in the 
higher spheres of spirit, even when we allow for uncon- 
scious occurrences in nature. It has been vainly attempted 
to explain consciousness as only the passive product of un- 
conscious actions, without taking any proper account of the 
reason immanent in the process. 

There is no sure footing for our deepest experience in 
feeling; we need valid ideas ideas not dissociate from 
reality. Feeling has need of idea, which, however, must 
not get divorced from feeling, of which it is meant to be 
the guide. But reason is not the mere adventitious thing 
which voluntarists like Schopenhauer would make it, wait- 
ing on the bidding of will. Reason is to be regarded as 
intellectual rather than conative ; it is concerned with axio- 
matic truths or the fundamental ideas, principles, norms, 
or laws of reason. Reason is utterly underestimated or 
misconceived when it is reduced by such voluntarism to a 
merely pragmatist attendance on will and practical needs. 
Will, when divested by Schopenhauer's voluntarism of the 
element of knowledge, is utterly abstract and unreal. 


But, of course, rationalism by itself does not suffice to 
give a rounded whole in our view of reality, and, in claim- 
ing primacy for intelligence, it is not meant that due con- 
sideration is not also to be given to will and feeling factors. 
Man is not reason alone, however disinterested, any more 
than he is will alone or feeling alone. But in freeing rea- 
son from non-rational factors, we must take an organic 
conception of man in his truth-seeking capacities and pow- 
ers, and give will and feeling values their due place. This 
can be done, without forgetting that these values are 
stamped with relativity and subjectivity. This will keep 
us from falling into the modern snare of undervaluing the 
truth or reality values so dear to reason. Nothing will be 
exempt from the sway and scrutiny of reason, but truth will 
be sought with the whole man, feeling and will cooperating 
toward the vital and concrete results of the quest. 

But this reckoning with the non-intellectual factors 
does not suffice, in our view of the meaning or philosophy 
of life, for we must go on to a world-view, infinite in its 
reaches beyond our own world of reason. And if the will 
and feeling facts and values import pluralistic tendency 
and direction as against the monistic tendency of reason, 
justice may yet be done these former elements or factors, 
in our system of thought, while the constructive power and 
activity of reason systematically builds up its final or ulti- 
mate monistic issue. 

It can, of course, be said that under this monistic sway 
of reason, justice to facts and values may not be done, but 
it is just the task of infinitely patient constructive reason 
to see that justice is done. The thing is to see that reason 
remain living, concrete, and grow not rigid, abstract, and 
unreal. Such reason will advance the realization of the 
normative ideals, but not in merely formal fashion, without 
comprehending the foundations of the empiric world. Facts 
and values must not be distorted or wrenched but properly 


articulated in the system, while not allowed, in recalcitrant 
fashion, to defeat or impede a final unity of reason or of 

Although not primarily concerned with psychological 
developments, but rather with the experience of the devel- 
oped consciousness, I have yet noticed some of the more 
extreme and insupportable contentions of psychological vol- 
untarism. I shall add yet another example of the some- 
what overdone emphasis and over-dogmatic tone of such 
presentations as exemplified by Prof. J. H. Leuba (in The 
American Journal of Religious Psychology and Education, 
1907, p. 309). He says, "Aristotle characterized man as 
thinking-desire" We are to take this as an epitome of 
Aristotle! The fine things uttered by Aristotle touching 
intellect and reason reason in its rule of desire and pas- 
sion apparently do not exist for the voluntarist. "Will 
without intelligence may be possible," Leuba says; ration- 
alists deny it is anything of the sort. It would not then 
be will. And the converse is much more conceivable if 
that were of any consequence as Meumann and others 
have contended. 

Leuba takes the usual voluntaristic pleasure in min- 
imizing thought, reason, and intellect. "The function of 
intelligence" is reduced by Leuba to the "gratifying" of 
"desires, needs, cravings," a not very exalted role. All 
spontaneity of thought, all finely disinterested reason, are 
swept away in this crude subservience to desire. "Thought 
does not exist for itself; it is the instrument of desire." 
"We think because we will." It is scarcely to be wondered 
at that the rationalist finds little satisfaction in these modes 
of indulging in the humiliation or degradation of reason, 
the highest, divinest thing in man. But it reacts in lower- 
ing the psychological system itself, which seeks to effect 
such reduction. 

I have run intelligence and will back into unity or har- 


mony within the human consciousness into the unity of 
personality. And from this, and what we have seen of 
the impulse of reason for unity, we may say that the con- 
stitution of the mind "predisposes man for monism" (Dr. 
P. Carus, Fundamental Problems, p. 21). My own results 
lead me finally to a spiritual monism, in which spiritual 
reason is for me the ultimate principle. One finds a cor- 
relation of subject and object, of "I" and "not-I," of soul 
and body, of consciousness and existence, of nature and 
spirit, of God and the world, but we cannot rest in the end 
without running these back, under causal points of view 
where necessary, into some principle or power that em- 
braces them all, and inwardly binds them all together. For 
though we may have a relative dualism and individualism 
which, though relative, does not contemplate anything 
of the nature of blank absorption yet is the impulse of 
reason for unity never satisfied short of an all-unity such 
as I find in the Absolute and Eternal Reason. For monism 
is the last word in philosophy, and such a spiritual monistic 
principle is for me fons et origo of the universe, with 
dualisms and correlations finally grounded in it as funda- 
mental principle. But that World-Reason has effectiveness, 
for it is also World-Will, and is indeed the unity of the 
Ideal and the Real. 




No man or woman is ever so much deceived by another as by 
himself or herself. The girl deceived by the lover, the rube fooled by 
the bunco-steerer, the merchant lured by the stock market, the fat 
gentleman with the bank roll duped by the sweet little maid, the 
lobster hooked by the salamander, are gulled less by the hocus-pocus, 
chicanery and deceit of the Salomes and Judases than by the tricks 
of their own thoughts. 

Experimental psychology has contributed a large number of 
new discoveries which explain all this. Time was when philosophers, 
beetle browed, knitted and knotted in wrinkles, with ponderous 
spectacles and professorships, would sit in their garrets or hermi- 
tage and evolve some theory or notion to explain whether the world 
was made of green cheese, a blue fancy, or something real. 

For tens and hundreds or thousands of years philosophers 
have fought French duels of wordy battles as to the existence of 
anything round about or not. To plain people, who have bumped 
their heads on door knobs or burned their fingers in a fire, it might 
seem the Olympus of folly to debate whether a piece of sausage 
and a dog are the flames from your heated imagination or some- 
thing actual and real. 

But philosophers are not supposed to be either plain or matter 
of fact. They are apt to pursue words and phrases, no less than 
thoughts, into all sorts of mazes and devious channels. If they 
at times run into a blind alley, a cul-de-sac, or against a stone wall, 
the matter is lightly dismissed with "we shall return to that later." 

Experimental psychology takes neither philosophies, philos- 
ophers, innermost thoughts, or words seriously. This experimental 
science of the real world as distinct from the image of thought 


world may be likened to philosophy and the psychology of other 
years, as a man is to his reflection in a mirror. 

The one is active, movable, changeable, up and doing, while 
the other is merely the reflected ray of light. One is the substance, 
the other is the shadow. One is a creature that acts upon and is 
acted on by everything round about. The other is uninfluenced by 
or uninfluencing the world. 

In fine, laboratory, experimental, objective, and the "test" psy- 
chology of to-day, takes nothing for granted, admits no "author- 
ities" other than real facts open to, admitted and acknowledged by 
ninety-nine and nine-tenths percent of sane persons. The older 
psychology of psychics, spirits, mind reading, telepathy, "seeing- 
things," "spiritism," and images and thoughts of isolated "profes- 
sors," "mediums," "experts," "writers on malaria," "descendants 
of Oliver Wendell Holmes," and the like, are all found wanting by 
objective psychology. 

Recently this refreshing science has undertaken to find out 
why everybody sees things, not as they actually and truly are, but 
each in a different way. It has been found for the first time that 
there is no such thing as a pure, unadulterated, accurate, unmixed 

This will be a blow to physiologists, physicians, and medical 
men generally, all of whom still teach that when you see a bulldog 
with his teeth in the seat of a pedestrian's trousers, you really see 
what you think you see. Nothing else. This is a clean uncompli- 
cated sensation you are falsely taught. 

Philosophers of a certain ilk may teach, if they like, that when 
a saucer of milk is lapped up by a kitten, there never was any real 
milk there in the first place. They may hold to this superideal 
world of non-reality. That is not what these experiments of psy- 
chology show. What they do prove, however, is the fact that the 
eye, ear, and other sensation receivers and mouthpieces, as years 
advance from infancy upward, become moulded and impressed in 
such a way with repeated happenings of the past in such a wise that 
they have a real physical power of prophecy. 

Coming events cast their shadows before simply because the 
eye, muscles, tongue and ear are set like a mouse-trap or like the 
trigger of a gun to wit, to spring forward far beyond the needed 
requirement ; to foresee and f orehear, to forestall what one has seen 
and heard so often before. 


In other words, if you see an automobile, a runaway horse, or 
a batted ball, although each one is entirely different and describes 
an absolutely new and distinct kind of motion, yet you will see it 
exactly as you have seen many others before it. 

When you meet a new acquaintance you are prone to think 
you have met him before or see that he "looks the spitting image 
of a dear friend, Mr. Blank." I, myself, wear a Van Dyke beard 
and an imperial mustache. There are a score of men stouter, taller, 
shorter, darker, lighter, and with hair on their heads I am well- 
nigh bald who do not resemble me in the slightest, yet who are 
constantly told because they happen to wear beards also unlike 
mine that they look like me or I look like them. 

That the ear is never true ; that even Caruso, Farrar, Galli-Curci 
and the best musicians cannot hear sounds as they actually are, is easily 
discovered experimentally; that even those with a marvelous sense 
of hearing can never hear exactly what took place or what caused 
a particular sound, is proved in the laboratory. Little instruments 
that resemble brass helmets can be made to imitate bees, birds, the 
sighing of the wind through trees, the breaking of waves on a 
beach, thunder, roll of drums, violins, oboes, and so on. 

Various sounds are made from these "resonators" and real 
bees, flies, parrots, musical instruments, and noises are also used. 
Any series of sounds used for some days previously leaves such an 
impress upon the subject's ears, that subsequent tones or noises are 
interpreted and heard almost before they are made, in terms of the 
sounds previously and formerly repeated. 

It is a law of nature that light travels faster than sound. You 
can see a puff of smoke some time before you hear the shot. You 
can see the batter hit the ball some seconds before you hear the 
crack of the bat. 

Yet you will find on analysis that bits from operas and songs 
that you hear hundreds of times a day, and other familiar and oft 
repeated tones are heard as quickly as you see. The experimental 
psychologist knows this to be another example of hearing things 
before they happen. This is true, scientific foresight due to habit, 
past experience, and multitudes of repetitions. The eye and the ear 
have become linked thus so often that the instant the eye sees a 
certain thing, the ear hears its necessarily associated sound. This 
fraction of a moment's anticipation or "prophecy" becomes fused 
with actual sound, which comes a moment later. 


Echoes are often heard double for this reason. The sound is 
heard from habit and also as a later rebound. People who "see 
things" such as ghosts, spirits, and departed guests have much the 
same experience. 

Seeing halos around the head; seeing people before you meet 
them wrongly explained as coincidences or as something mys- 
terious are all due to the fact that you see the things which you 
have seen oftenest. 

A patch of color, of light, and of shadow is usually all you 
see of anything. Yet you instantly recognize that distant blend 
as Larrie Jones or Goldie Summers ; Don Quixote, who in Cer- 
vantes's novel charges and takes distant windmills for knights, is 
not a bit more amusing than the rest of humanity. Knights were 
in his thoughts as well as among his associates at least in costume 
hence he saw them. 

There is but a slight difference between sane persons who see 
an orange when a yellow colored globe is thrown into the air, and the 
drunken man who sees rats without cause or the insane one who 
has the delusion that the veins on his arms are wriggling worms. 

Indeed the only way you recognize a friend, a book, a doorstep, 
a fruit, a tree, or what not, is not altogether because of any sensation 
you receive at that moment, but from the past experiences, repeti- 
tions, and intimate memories of the past. 

When you absentmindedly trace your steps home at night you 
may not be aware that past experiences are responsible for your 
seemingly rational behavior, but you have not consciously seen a 
house number, a doorstep, a post, a tree, or any of the landmarks 
which are needed to guide a stranger. 

A dog, a cat, or a horse is no different from you. They find 
their way home, not because they see any peculiar home signs, but 
because they perceive a lot of complex, conglomerate things oft 
associated in their cosmos with that spot. A dog perceives his 
master, not by smell or sight according to Prof. John B. Watson 
of Johns Hopkins as has been taught, but just as the master him- 
self recognizes his children, namely, by a mixture of complex per- 

You turn corners, cross roads, avoid lamps as well as people, 
not because you see them, but because you perceive them. You 
may be talking to a companion, and at the end of your walk you 
may find yourself quite unable to recall a single moment when your 


movements were specially modified to suit an actual need, though 
you have probably accommodated yourself in this way many times. 
The frequency of past experiences of the kind has established what 
you have previously called a psycho-physical disposition which now 
works itself out on the occasion of the appropriate stimulus with 
the slightest intervention of consciousness. In like manner, an ex- 
perienced teacher pursues the course of his lesson without any con- 
scious effort to watch the more mischievous members of his class 
yet no irregularity escapes his notice, or fails to produce a suitable 
though to the casual observer scarcely noticeable, response. 

In the young child, all such dispositions are in the making. His 
mental life is therefore necessarily bound up very closely with his 
actual environment, as it changes from moment to moment. If he 
is walking in the road he must attend to the line of the footpath, 
the gas lamps and the people, or disaster would attend him at every 
turn. Repeated experience leads him to make the necessary muscu- 
lar adjustments whenever he is about to step across the line of 
shadow or of light which marks the change of level from road to 
footpath, until finally the muscular changes take place with accuracy 
and precision with the exercise of little, if any, conscious control, 
whenever the situation demands it. This leaves the mind free to 
pursue any line of activity without reference to normal changes 
going on in the immediate surroundings. 

You see then, how closely the process of perception is related 
to that which governs the formation of habits. It is possible only 
because of that fundamental quality of retentiveness which leads 
to the formation of psycho-physical dispositions. At the same time, 
it must not be supposed that the development of the perceptive 
powers is merely a development toward automatism. 

The sensory bases upon which experiences rest are so slight 
that it is not surprising to find error creeping in, especially when 
perception takes place under the influence of unsatisfactory proof- 
readers. The thought and the particular phrases in which it is cast 
suggest the words before the eye reaches them. You tend to see 
what you expect to see, and miss the printer's errors. Under emo- 
tional influences, like that of fear, for example, such misinterpreta- 
tions are particularly common. A nervous person walking along a 
country lane finds a miscreant's footsteps in the fall of every leaf, 
if you are waiting anxiously for a telegram, how many times do you 
hear the footsteps of the messenger and the sound of the door-bell ! 


Every slight sound is the occasion of such erroneous mental con- 
struction. It is clear, however, that illusions, which is the name 
given to misunderstandings of this peculiar kind, are not due to any 
inaccurate working of the nervous mechanism of sensation. The 
possibility of mistakes of the kind may perhaps be regarded as the 
price paid for the power which the accumulated but latent fruits 
of experience give to you in your perceptual adjustments. The 
sensory element in perception is often so entirely outweighed by 
those traces of the past which are involved in the process, that the 
actual sensory object is enormously modified or even practically 
replaced by something else which corresponds more closely to 
existing and very lively dispositions. 

In both perception and illusion there is always present some 
sensory element and even those traces of past experience which 
are revealed when either process is subjected to analysis are also 
sensory in origin. Ultimately, then, the knowledge of the physical 
environment rests upon the evidence of the senses. 

Every one knows what Bunyan meant when he wrote of the 
"five gateways of the soul/' but increasing knowledge has taught 
that the traditional five senses do not exhaust the list. Perhaps 
the most important of the more recently discovered sensations are 
those which are due to the movements of muscles, tendons, and 
joints, which play so large a part in enabling you to gain control of 
your movements, sensations of heat and cold, other organic sensa- 
tions from internal parts of the body and sensations of pain, all 
of which are due to the stimulation of nerve-structures specially 
adapted to respond to a particular type of stimulus. A visual .sen- 
sation may be more or less bright, a sound-sensation more or less 
loud, a sensation of pressure may be more or less light and so on. 
These are differences in intensity. Again, visual sensations vary 
in color, sound-sensations in pitch, temperature sensations may be 
hot or cold and taste sensations may be sweet or salty, sour or bitter, 
These are typical of what are called qualitative differences, and the 
student will readily notice how much more delicately these differ- 
ences are related in the case of light and sound than in the other 

It is particularly important that one should realize the difference 
between the sensation and the stimulus to which it owes its rise. 
Most people see sufficiently for all practical purposes, without know- 
ing anything about vibrations of the ether or the change which they 


cause in the minute structures which lie in the sensitive layer of 
the retina. The psychologist is not directly concerned with either 
of these things. It is in seeing as you all experience it that he is 
interested. The physicist or the physiologist tells you that those other 
things happen and you accept his word for it, but you are not con- 
scious of these events ; they do not enter into the experience of the 
person who sees, in the way that color and brightness and light and 
shade do. These, then, are the sensory objects the apprehension 
of which he discusses. A like distinction is also to be drawn be- 
tween all other sensory objects and the stimuli to which they owe 
their appearance in consciousness. 

Moreover, in actual experience you never merely sense color 
for instance, but perceive a colored thing. The mental processes 
which are set up by sensory stimuli are always interpretative and 
therefore perceptual in character. Whenever you see, you see some- 
thing. Ordinarily you can name or describe it. So with what you 
hear or touch or taste. But these interpretations had fo be learned, 
except in so far as precise reflex machinery provided for right 
response to such stimuli. 

In general, the tendency is to shrink from those contacts which 
produce discomfort, and to seek those which give satisfaction. 
This shrinking or seeking attitude which the infant learns to adopt 
toward objects around him is his first interpretation of his sense 
experience. Conscious purpose is still undeveloped, but when he 
hears a voice, his head turns, seeking, as it were, the visual sensa- 
tions which usually accompany that sort of sound. His mental life 
is at first chiefly of this order. Increase of motor control greatly 
enriches his sensory experiences and deepens the significance of the 
things around him. In other words, percepts become fuller: color 
differences, differences in size and shape, position and distance are 
all perceived with gradually increasing accuracy; to sensory stimuli 
his reactions grow increasingly varied and delicate with these grow- 
ing powers of discrimination. The process is especially rapid in 
regard to the things which afford him bodily comfort or with which 
he plays or which he otherwise puts to use. Instincts like fear and 
curiosity prompt experimental interpretations of new sensory ex- 
periences, but his action in these cases, even when most foolish, has 
its basis in what he has done previously. 

In your own perception you will readily distinguish the dom- 
inant play of purpose. When you are thirsty, the cup of tea has 


only one aspect a thing to take in the hand and carry to your 
mouth. When thirst is quenched, your china-collecting interest may 
assert itself, and the shape and design of the particular cup may 
strike your eye. If you want a certain book from your shelves, 
to that and that only your eye is directed. You may not even notice 
that other books surround it. In a casual outward glance, the un- 
familiar strikes you and excites a closer examination, but commonly 
your interests and purposes determine your perceptions. If you 
are enthusiastic about birds, every twitter catches your ear as you 
walk through country lanes and a new note instantly arrests your 
attention, while your friend the botanist sees nothing but the flowers 
in the hedge bottom. 

What you call observation is precisely this purposeful attention 
to the things which strike your senses. You do at times give your- 
self over to casual and almost meaningless noting of the things that 
pass before your eyes, as you sit in a railway train for example. 
But this is not observation in the right sense of the word. If, on the 
other hand, by force of habit, or by specific intention you are on 
the lookout for special features in the changing landscape, geo- 
logical, historical, or other landmarks, your survey is purposeful, 
you become observant. Under the influence of a particular interest, 
your perception becomes remarkably acute. The sailor sees land 
on the horizon long before the passengers on the ship, and the 
traditional red Indian can follow a trail through the woods which 
would defy the ordinary white man. Popular opinion is apt to 
ascribe the power of the red Indian to special acuteness of vision, 
but recent researches into the psychology of savage races throw con- 
siderable doubt upon this view. It seems more probable that ex- 
perience, quickened by the necessities of the situation, has taught 
him just what to look for, and how to interpret what he sees. The 
same explanation is, in all probability, true of the sailor's quickness 
to see the coast line which may be fraught with danger, or the first 
sign of the nearness of home. 

At the same time, the capacity for sensory discrimination may 
be improved by the formal training of graduated exercises. Within 
certain limits fixed by physiological conditions that vary with every 
individual, the delicacy of the ear is improved by exercises which 
necessitate discrimination in the pitch of musical notes. Similarly, 
you will find that regular practice will prove the power of "seeing" 
distances, or delicately adjusting your muscles to the handling ot 


a billiard cue. But improvement in sensory discrimination goes 
ahead much faster when you feel that something really depends 
upon it. In the life of the young child, formal training has usually 
no place. His sensory development is a product of experience, and 
of his growing sense of power among things which every day acquire 
new meanings for him. He has no established interests, but the ob- 
jects about him have for the most part become familiar, in the first 
instance, as sources of pleasurable sensory activity. He has "played" 
with them; then he puts them to use on his own initiative and in 
original ways. Informally he "picks up" a great deal of practical 
knowledge concerning the physical properties of objects. He finds 
out that some things will break when they fall and others will not, 
that some things are hard and others soft, that he cannot carry water 
or milk as he carries a piece of wood, that his father's chair is 
heavier than his stool. He is already in the path of learning, but 
his experiences are disordered, and his actions are almost entirely 
prompted by momentary circumstances. His development will be 
marked by an increasing coherence in his behavior. His perceptions 
will come more and more into the service of purpose, gaining 
thereby in acuteness as well as in richness of content. 

It is important to realize how relatively late the power to look 
at objects in an impersonal way develops. A child in the Kinder- 
garten is interested in objects because of the part they play in his 
everyday life not in their shape or color, or size, or in their rela- 
tions one to another. The ordinary child of three or four who looks 
at a picture still sees the persons and objects upon it in isolation. 
If you ask him to tell you what he saw, you will learn that there 
was a man, and a girl, and a horse, and so on. The pictured objects 
are just representations of things that have entered into his own 
experiences, and nothing more. At five or six he is curious to 
know what is going on in the picture he is interested in other 
people's doings as well as his own. A year or two later he will 
observe more particularly the relative position of objects and suggest 
reasons for things "the man is sitting down on a stool and looks 
very tired" "the sun is just peeping behind the hill and the man 
is going out to his work." "There is a clock by the window on the 
wall it says half -past five." Last of all comes the tendency to 
notice the details of individual objects what they are made of, 
their peculiarities of form and position. 

The bearing of this upon the so-called observation lessons in 


school is clear. Internal factors and felt needs are the springs of 
successful activity on the part of the children, and when you talk 
of training a child's power of observation, you may profitably keep 
in mind the possibility of cultivating his powers of purposeful action, 
success in which will depend upon watchfulness and care in the 
use of his senses. When mistakes in observation really matter, 
they become relatively infrequent. Many of the school observation 
lessons are, psychologically considered, nothing more than a formal 
attempt to associate names to things or to the specific sensory qual- 
ities of things. Whether they are justified or not it is not the busi- 
ness of psychology to say. 

At the same time, the psychological qualities of a good observer 
include something more than interest in and knowledge of the sub- 
ject under examination. Interest in a subject is not infrequently 
accompanied by preconceptions which may even be strong enough 
to vitiate the observations altogether. Until Galileo's time, people 
believed that a stone of ten pounds weight would fall ten times more 
quickly than a stone of one pound. That was the current belief, and 
nobody thought of questioning it. Yet the actual fall of stones must 
have been watched many times in the interval, but it was only with 
difficulty that Galileo persuaded his contemporaries to look at facts in 
freedom from the bias of preconception. In a like way, every 
teacher of science knows how difficult it is to prevent the quite 
honest "cooking" of results which conies when a pupil knows be- 
forehand what he ought to find. Hence to train observation implies 
also a training in intellectual honesty and serves to lay the founda- 
tion of a love of truth for its own sake, which enables one to 
recognize facts whether or not they are in accordance with the pre- 
conceived ideas or hopes. 




In a paper read at the Christmas meeting of the American 
Philosophical Association at Princeton University in December 1917, 1 
the writer pointed out the existence of a group of logics, in which 
many of the implications of the traditional science become untrue. 
P i 1 ee \7 als0 ioi7N writer ' s Primer f Lo ^c, (B. D. Smith and Brothers, 

A U lei SKI , Vcl.j 


The members of this family are each one more general than the 
common logic, while certain of their underlying axioms stand in 
contradiction to one another. It is proposed now to construct in 
some detail that member of the group, whose characteristic postulate 
asserts the untruth of the proposition, all a is all a, for all meanings 
of a. In order to keep the discussion within the narrowest limits 
consistent with its purpose, we shall confine our attention as far 
as possible to a single type of implication. Because of the central 
importance of the syllogism in any system of inference, it will be 
deemed enough to deduce all the true and all the untrue propositions 
of that type. 

There are four forms which the logician may recognize as 
necessary and sufficient to express the manner in which any two 
classes, a and b,